in Tornado

Navigation

I’m finding it constantly difficult to create new ways of building navigation bars. Sometimes it feels like everything that CAN be done, has been. For the last 7 years designing web sites I always felt like I could come up with a new navbar for each site I built. I suppose after so many years I feel like I am recycling what I do.

Does anybody else struggle with this? I almost feel bad if I recycle design components from one site to the next. I feel more and more though that I have so many great navbars I’ve designed and pulling them into a new site often works well.

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  1. how about no navigation bars? or only a footer? make it so simple that people get to what they want in the body of your message..a small marketing site could do this well.

  2. Yeah I tried a site like that once. It didn’t work. People hate having to read through everything just to get to what they’re looking for.

  3. …well, maybe we should ask the question “why must the navigation be different?” I mean, I am a firm believer in brand representation though style/navigation/etc, but are we talking about new ways to navigate from an interactive standpoint? If the intention of the company brand/image is to come off trendy/cutting edge/etc, then we can get away with introducing new ways of navigation that support this. But, in my experience 90% of the time, most institutions want somehting that works, and that people aren’t going to have to go through a learning curve to use. (tabs, rollovers, vertical nav, etc) Sure, you may do similar variations of the same tabbed style navigation now & again, but in the best interest of the user. The web has been around long enough now where I believe there are ‘standards’ & Best Practices for things like navigation, page layout, etc. I admit there will be exceptions where as designers we are allowed to push the limits of these types of things, but I am not one to do something new for the sake of newness….just my two cents.

  4. here’s a navigation system that is both functional and innovative:

    http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/

    it’s flexible based on what’s most popular. as a category get’s more comments and articles it grows and becomes bigger. at a a glance a user can see all the categories and the most poular, it also just looks cool.

    i have a small tshirt line and only need a few pages to get the message and commerce across, so there is not a main nav bar just modular boxes and a footer:

    http://www.mistershape.com