Web Menu Design

Written by Kimberly Clark
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There are two primary purposes for inserting menus in a website. Of course, the first and foremost reason is navigation. Experts agree that if a person can't readily find the information they are looking for on a website, they will probably not spend much time searching for it before they ultimately decide to leave the site altogether.

Therefore, website designers want to do everything in their power to make it faster and simpler for people to locate the information they are searching for. In addition, the design of the menus should attempt to entice visitors to the site to take a look at other pages that are included on the website. With that in mind, considerable thought should be put into the visual presentation of the web menu.

The second reason for designing efficient web menus is to provide quick access to frequently used functions. In some instances, the menus can even be configured so they are automatically updated to only display the operations the user regularly uses. Well thought out menus, can also make it easier for inexperienced users to learn how to use web-based applications.

Types of Menus

When embarking on a project that involves web menu design, there are several different types of menus that website designers can choose from. Perhaps the most common kind of web menu is the traditional pull-down menu. Clicking on an item listed on this type of menu, reveals a separate lists of options that the user can choose to perform.

Another rather popular type of web menu, at least from the user's perspective, is the split menu. This type of menu displays frequently used functions atop of the full list of operations. The options that appear on the top of split menus are constantly reorder to reflect their frequency of use.

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