Global navigation: persistent or not across all pages?

25 Aug 2009 - 12:53pm
5 years ago
7 replies
506 reads
Victor Lombardi
2003

What you're referring to is called 'transitional volatility' -- how
much the navigation changes as you use the service. In the key study
on the topic, it was found that a little bit of change, consistent
change, is good and better than a lot of change or no change at all.

Here's a summary of the study:
http://noisebetweenstations.com/personal/weblogs/?p=1010

To test yours, you can essentially recreate the test used in the
study.

Victor

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Comments

25 Aug 2009 - 2:16pm
Paul Bryan
2008

Like David Danielson did in the paper Victor referenced, the best bet
is to test the headers with users, in as quantitatively
representative a manner as is feasible for your team.

If there's no budget / time / interest in researching this topic
with users, then it's a question of the relative weight you would
assign to the factors you listed above: branding, consistent context,
convenience of quick access points, and the relative quantity of
useful content that fits above the fold.

I wasn't able to access the link you provided (forbidden) so I
wasn't able to get a feeling for your goals, audience, content, etc.
So, in general I'd say that if the header is providing useful context
about the information hierarchy and is surfacing often used links and
functionality, then it makes sense to keep it for all applicable
pages. If it only serves as a branding tool, then a visually
consistent but less obtrusive brand voice would probably have more
impact.

/pb

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25 Aug 2009 - 2:51pm
Anonymous

Sorry about that, there's a comma in that URL that shouldn't be
there. Here it is: http://community.trendmicro.com/

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27 Aug 2009 - 5:47am
Sascha Brossmann
2008

BTW: why the two different search boxes?

Sascha
--
& : create

https://www.xing.com/profile/Sascha_Brossmann
http://www.linkedin.com/in/brsma
http://twitter.com/brsma

27 Aug 2009 - 1:24pm
Paul Bryan
2008

I don%u2019t see a lot of convenience or utility to customers from
having the full header in the community section. Looking through the
site, I think the question is the degree to which you want the
community to appear to be a separate entity from the primary
offering. The examples below illustrate a range of options from
completely integrated to almost completely differentiated.

Amazon completely integrates community into into its product catalog.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EZYKTS/ref=s9_al_gw_tr02/179-0449618-1343656?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=1FG9MJMZR5FS1MFW2C5A&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=488826231&pf_rd_i=507846

HP keeps the header on the landing page of communities%u2026
http://welcome.hp.com/country/us/en/welcome.html#Connect

%u2026but then uses a streamlined header once you%u2019ve selected a
community
http://www.communities.hp.com/online/

Dell uses a market segment approach to global navigation, similar to
TrendMicro%u2019s global nav. Once you go to the community piece, you
see a streamlined header that makes it seem like you are on slightly
more neutral territory.
http://en.community.dell.com/forums/

Best Buy has a community site that is clearly distinct from its
primary e-retail site, but which does not sub-branded to the extent
that Sears is.
http://www.forums.bestbuy.com/t5/Computers/bd-p/Computers_New

Pampers does the inverse of Amazon, integrating its product offering
into the community piece.
http://www.pampers.com/en_US/Shop

Sears uses a completely different visual treatment for its community,
giving you the impression that you are closer to the other customers
and a bit removed from the commercial entity Sears.
http://www.mysears.com/

Paul Bryan

Director, User Research and Design Strategy
Usography Corporation (www.usography.com)
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/uxexperts

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28 Aug 2009 - 10:59am
Anonymous

I replied via email to Sascha's question, but I'll share here:

The top search box (in header) is for Trendmicro.com site-wide
search.

The one immediately below the header is for searching the community
only.

This is by far not ideal, I'm aware. Not my design / recommendation.

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28 Aug 2009 - 11:04am
Anonymous

Paul - Thanks for all the links. The Dell site is more along the lines
of what I am going towards. I've started saying, "Micro-header" to
help relate the concept to my manager and teammates.

A coworker helped me articulate my reasons for not wanting the full
header on the blogs I'm building right now: blogs are where people
tend to go to get first-hand information, not to be advertised to. I
think, in our case, this is important. For example, we don't want to
come across as the experts in our industry only to say, "While
you're here, have we got the right product for you!!" It seems a
bit self-serving, which I think goes against what the blog-mentality
is.

I realize, that explanation still lacks the articulation I wish to
achieve here, but I think I got the point across: focus on the
community aspect, not the corporate one.

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28 Aug 2009 - 11:46am
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

You are right: profit interests tend to destroy communal spirit -- a lesson
demonstrated time and again in Project Runway and other reality shows, as
well as by behavioral economists (read 'Predictably Irrational' by Dan
Ariely or see author's talk at TED).

--
Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is design of time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

On Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 4:04 AM, jennifer wolfgang <chicgeek75 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Paul - Thanks for all the links. The Dell site is more along the lines
> of what I am going towards. I've started saying, "Micro-header" to
> help relate the concept to my manager and teammates.
>
> A coworker helped me articulate my reasons for not wanting the full
> header on the blogs I'm building right now: blogs are where people
> tend to go to get first-hand information, not to be advertised to. I
> think, in our case, this is important. For example, we don't want to
> come across as the experts in our industry only to say, "While
> you're here, have we got the right product for you!!" It seems a
> bit self-serving, which I think goes against what the blog-mentality
> is.
>
> I realize, that explanation still lacks the articulation I wish to
> achieve here, but I think I got the point across: focus on the
> community aspect, not the corporate one.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45003
>
>
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