Types of navigation menus
The menu is one of the most important items on a website because it allows users to navigate from page to page. If the menu is disorganized or hard to find, users will get frustrated and leave. The type of menu you choose for your website will depend on the amount of pages there are, and the overall design of the website.
Horizontal menus:Horizontal menus are very popular. A horizontal menu appears at the top of a web page and allows all the space beneath it to be reserved for the main content. Its use is pretty intuitive since people are accustomed to reading text horizontally. Because of this, links are placed in order of importance, from left to right. Horizontal menus are great if there are not too many menu items that need to pan across the page.
Vertical menus:Vertical menus are either used alone, or in conjunction with horizontal menus. They are especially useful in cases where the menu is too long to fit horizontally across the page, or if you foresee that you may add additional menu items frequently.
Dropdown menus: (horizontal and vertical)If there are a large number of menu items, it's wise to use a dropdown menu. This can be used with both horizontal and vertical menus, and simply separates main menu items (always visible) from sub menu items (visible only with mouseover). A dropdown menu is an excellent feature for a busy website because it:
- allows you to add or remove menu items without affecting the layout
- opens up more space for your content by eliminating clutter
- promotes categorization of your menu items so users can find things with ease