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Re: horizontal vs. vertical navigation


From: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
Date: Aug 29, 2012 1:49AM

On Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 8:10 AM, Nathalie Sequeira < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> I am currently needing to decide between horizontal and vertical
> navigation for a website redesign.
> To make sure a maximum amount of people will be able to access the
> information with ease, we have asked our local People First organization
> which of the two models is more easily navigable for people with
> cognitive difficulties.
> While their confirmation that vertical navigation is definitely easier
> to understand makes sense

Interesting. What's the thinking here?

Consider that many popular websites use horizontal navigation for
moving between major areas of the site. There is perhaps a usability
cost to departing from widely adopted interface patterns.

> , in international circles I see lots of
> horizontal navigation being adopted even on People First sites.


> What are your experiences on how difficult horizontal navigation really is?
> Is there anything to keep especially in mind when designing a horizontal
> navigation to be as inclusive as possible? (obvious things such as
> underlying semantic markup, static subnavigation etc. aside)

Some off-the-cuff (likely fairly obvious) suggestions:

* Make sure the distinction between different items in the navigation
is clearly visually marked.
* Ensure visible keyboard focus.
* Keep the navigation short.
* Avoid dropdowns.

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis