Web Menus

Written by Kimberly Clark
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People can use web menus to navigate their way through the information contained on various websites. They can also use web menus to perform certain functions within internet applications. Whatever the reason your users will be using them, well-developed web menus will undoubtedly simplify their web browsing experiencing.

Developers of web-based applications have several different types of web menus to choose from. However, all of the menus work off the same basic premise. They allow you to select the operation you want to perform with a simple click of your mouse, from a clearly defined list of options.

Menu Bar

The menu bar is perhaps the type of web menu most often used by developers. A menu bar generally consists of several categories of commands, which are usually represented by a one or two word term. Menu bars are typically located at the top of a web page and are commonly laid out across the page in a horizontal fashion.

When a person selects a category of commands from a menu bar, they are presented with a submenu that lists several similar operations that they have the option of performing. After a selection is made from the menu bar, the most commonly displayed submenu is the pull–down menu. Pop-up menus and cascading menus are a couple of other examples of submenus that are used when designing websites.

Other Submenus

If a user selects an option from a menu bar that has a submenu associated with it, a pop-up menu might be displayed. Pop-up menus can also be coded to appear, when the user clicks the right button on their mouse. Normally pop-up menus are designed to disappear after a selection is made from it.

Cascading menus serve as an alternative to the pop-up menu and are designed to open up, when an item from the main menu is selected. These secondary menus are usually only visible if the main menu item is highlighted and the mouse button is depressed. Once a selection is made from the cascading menu it can no longer be seen.

Making Internet Applications Easier To Use

A well developed set of web menus can make Internet applications a lot easier to use. They allow the user to quickly and effortlessly locate pertinent information. Plus they provide a simple alternative to the user having to memorize a series of commands to perform particular functions.

Users really appreciate being able to select the task they want to carry out from clearly defined web menus. Therefore, it makes good sense for developers to include them in all of their web-based applications. Fortunately, there are several products on the market that can assist the developer in devising efficient web menus for their applications.

The majority of the products that perform web menu building are available in one of the following formats: Dynamic Hypertext Mark-up Language (DHTML) or JavaScript. A lot of the products come with standard menus that can be inserted into your application right out of the box. However, most of the products are also totally customizable to fit the functionality of the application.

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