Network-of-sites navigation

17 Aug 2010 - 10:19am
4 years ago
1 reply
558 reads
vlad
2008

Hello,

We run an employment portal that focuses on jobs and career-related content.

As our range of topics expands and new features get added (e.g. training/courses section)
we thought about breaking our website into a few sections (sort of like a network of sites):

 - jobs
 - courses
 - student/graduate
 - expert/niche jobs
 - career development articles

Each section needs to have its own top navigation+submenu (also used for promotional projects).

I like what mashable.com have done with their various tabs and how the logo+nav changes colour.

but seeing as we need different main nav items for each section,
I've suggested to add another navigation bar at the very top, that would contain coloured links to the 5 sections in the list above.

I'm now concerned that this solution is not very usable and does not reflect the architecture of the website very well.


Any examples out there, be it websites, navigation patterns etc, that might illuminate me?

Thank you.


--
Vlad Fratila

Phone: +40 723 684 192
Skype/Gtalk: vlad.fratila

Comments

18 Aug 2010 - 6:52pm
Mathew Sanders
2009

Hi Vlad, 

I don't think that there is anything wrong with the navigation design that you're describing (it's just a standard hieacheal navigation right?)

It's hard to comment from just the 5 high level categories that you've listed, but maybe there is some room for improvement in terms of how you're structuring you're content.

It sounds like you've got various job listings for people in specific audiences looking for a job

  • jobs
  • student/graduate 
  • expert/niche 

and then resources for people who may not be immediatly looking for a new job but in developing their career 

  • courses 
  • career development articles 

Maybe these are two higher level categories you could use?

Also think about how tags can allow content to belong to more than one category, and also allows for a lot of flexibility if you've got content that is growing and now sure where you will be in 6 months time. 

Have you done a card sorting activity yet? If you're too close to a project it's easy to loose objectivity and cart sorting is a great design technique to help gain insights on how people think about content.

Good luck!

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