How do users really interact with site headers/footers/global nav?
16 Aug 2011 - 2:47pm
3 years ago
I'm looking for some helpful research/analysis on how users interact (or don't) with website headers/footers/global navs. I suspect the following: 1. that most organizations over-emphasize what these areas of the interface are doing for them -- and many many hours are spent arguing over and rethinking these red-herrings when it's not where the focus should be.
2. Users are scanning for trigger words (or maybe images) that "smell good" info-scent-wise, and keep moving from there, and only look to the 'chrome' when they have to, if then. 3. If anything, the header/global nav (if you use one) might help establish a basic mental model for the site's main categories of activity and/or content, but only if it's kept simple w/ clearly distinguished semantics.
But this is just based on personal experience and a vague memory of articles/research I've encountered in the past. I'd like some ammunition from the field that either validates or disproves my assumptions (and I'm always happy to be wrong, as long as the alternative is actually, um, right ;-)
So ... any suggestions?