placing the main navigation on the right side of the page…can be effective for search engine visibility and site usability. (includes a few reasons why RHS nav can be advantageous)
… navigational selection limited to either the left or right panels resulted in the best human performance and strongest user preference. ..there appears to be a performance advantage when the first selection is made from the left navigation panel …Th
‘A key motivation for this design decision was that a right-hand navigation better reflects core values of the Audi brand: innovation, progressiveness, and individuality. The design goals (creating a usable but unconventional layout) were therefore tied closely with the business goals (reinforcing brand values and distinguishing the site from competitors’ sites).’
Interestingly, Nielsen (1999) also theorizes that right-justified navigation areas should result in better user tasking and usability. He believes that placing the navigation menu next to the scrollbar will save users time. Additionally, he claims that a right-hand navigation and the main content area on the left should increase the priority of content. Nielsen abandons this logic, however, and goes on to dictate the use of a left-hand navigation: “If we were starting from scratch, we might improve the usability of a site by 1% or so by having a navigation rail on the right rather than on the left. But deviating from the standard would almost certainly impose a much bigger cost in terms of confusion and reduced ability to navigate smoothly” (Nielsen 1999). In other words, the vestigial behavior outweighs the actual efficiency of a right-hand navigation. Nielsen offers no proof of reduced usability with a right-hand navigation, however.Fitts’ Law: Fitts’ law has been frequently applied to computer interface design (Mackenzie 1992). For all intents and purposes, it simply means that the bigger and closer an item is, the easier it is to click. Position on the screen, then, is a key factor in “ease of click”. In general, shorter mouse movements are better according to Fitts’ law. Therefore, locating the main navigation menu next to the scrollbar on the right side of a Web page should indeed reduce the time required to alternate between the two.Constantine & Lockwood (2002): You can confidently make novel use of many standard, well-established controls, visual elements and interaction idioms provided that new functions and behaviors are consistent and logical extensions of the old…Significant improvements in the user experience often require creative departures from standards and accepted practice. However, useful innovation in visual and interaction design should not burden the new user with a long and frustrating learning process”
- Anyone out there disagree and think that RHS navigation is the devil’s spawn?
- Anyone got some other good example sites or literature to back up RHS (or maybe bottom?!) navigation systems?
- Anyone got another FundaMental Belief that needs tearing apart?
Are you a first time visitor? well then, Welcome! There’s been a few of you lately.
If you’ve got a few moment, why not check out some other posts that people seem to have liked. Here’s a couple: Storytelling & Requirements Gathering (about how group talk and focus groups can be an utter waste of time) inspired by Malcolm Gladwell, The Six Species of Information Architect (if you’re into that kind of thing), Pencil Rules (about how designing with pencil is MUCH better than with a computer), women of 2.0 (get up, stand up) they’re out there, they’re just often a little quiet, or perhaps User Centred Design & Legwaxing – an Instructional Analogy, just for something different.
As you might notice, people are generally quite talkative around here, so please, don’t be shy. Leave me a note and let me know what you think! For some reason that Cognitive Pleasures post has been entirely silent. God knows why, lots of us should have strong opinions on it, I would have thought!
Shouldn’t take you long to guess what I’ve been stewing on today (thanks
Research shows that users click on topics in the right margin with much more efficiency than topics placed on the left because they are located much closer to the scroll bar. This allows users to quickly move the pointer between the scroll bar and the ind
Gerry Gaffny believes that navigation should be located either top or left (not right) in order to remain consistent with the majority of sites online.
Razorfish Germany found that RHS navigation was quickly learnable, efficient and enjoyable. They used it as a point of difference and to support ‘innovation’ in branding. Includes excellent lit. review