Vertical navigation sparks both interest and disdain among designers and site owners. People travel your site using navigation menus so you better make a good choice before you go live.
Know what vertical menus actually are before you decide.
Vertical Navigation has Benefits
The right website with the right design benefits from using a vertical menu. Sites featuring large visuals on the home page are possible candidates.
Positive Points to A Vertical Menu
Good for responsive design
Links containing short text
Single page layouts
Vertical navigation is easy to change
Modern technology has made it easier to design websites that are both eye-catching and interactive. As long as the layout is compact and easy to follow, visitors may develop a positive impression. The compact size helps to keep the attention of your targeted visitor where you want it, on your content.
Although short links are good, a menu having longer names is better suited with a vertical layout. Horizontal menus tend to look sloppy when long sentences are opened. A vertical menu displays the same neatly across the page.
Vertical navigation is good for responsive design. The menu always opens the same on any size screen. Single page lay-outs benefit because visitors don’t have to wait for a new page to load. The menu is easier to alter and looks cleaner compared to rearranging a horizontal placement.
Ugly Face of Vertical Navigation in Web Design
The ugly face of vertical design goes back to when websites were one-level deep. Each page had its spot on the home pages menu. Designer’s realized the left side was the logical place for that menu and placed it there. A major drawback to this was websites were one-level deep with no real organization. To add a page meant you placed it on the left menu and that was it.
Vertical Menus Not Optimal for Web Design
Content marketing needs an easy to follow content path
Long navigation menu wastes space
Horizontal menus are common
Top menus attract more attention
This doesn’t work today. Site owner’s need a clear, easy to follow path of content that lead’s a visitor toward the desired goal. Doesn’t matter if it’s information, a sign-up or sale; the road should be clear and easy to follow.
In-depth testing shows the left side of the page to be a hotspot for visitor attention. A long, messy menu running down your page is wasting valuable space.
Usability issues occur when you use sub-menus. Vertical sub-menus run sideways across the page. This wastes space because it’s where a visitor’s eyes will be looking. Not only that, people are used to the top, drop-down style of menu. It takes a little effort to adjust to the vertical method.
A study called Eyetrack III , confirms top menus get more attention. People just tend to ignore the left placed menus; they will read down the content area in the familiar F-shaped pattern.
You should be aware of the impact a menu has on visitors and on content marketing. The success of your site can be aided by the right design, so choose carefully. We have recently put together a site with vertical navigation, check it out and let us know what you think in the comments section!