What in the World is Sticky Navigation?

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Texas_Website_DesignerThe navigation menu is a vital part of a website, helping users move between pages and find desired information. Yet standard menus have a limitation in the sense that users have to scroll back up to the top of a page to find the menu. A Texas web design solution to such a problem is stick?y or floating navigation.

  • Definition – Conventional menus are static, usually placed on the left hand side or at the top of a web page; sticky navigation is a separate feature of the page. Instead of being fixed to a portion of the page, it is floats over the content. Whenever a user scrolls up or down, the menu holds its position and doesn’t go along with the page, making it easy to access.
  • Function – The best way to implement this type of menu is through cascading style sheets since it is the lightest and quickest code for such an application. There are other means to create it like J-query and Java Script. To get a menu to appear at the top, it should be coded position, margin-top and z-index. The position should be set to “fixed” to keep the menu from floating with the page when scrolling.
  • Advantages – Using sticky navigation has many advantages to web visitors. It makes browsing a lot easier by eliminating the need to scroll back up to get back to the menu. This was verified through a test comparing static and floating menus. The result showed that websites with floating menus were 22% faster to navigate that ones that were static. Users were also asked to choose between the two options and 100% chose the sticky version due to its ease of use.
  • Disadvantages – Although sticky navigation does improve a user’s experience, there are also some disadvantages. Sometimes the menu doesn’t respond quickly and can momentarily block content particularly when the navigation isn’t properly coded. There is also an issue of incompatibility on some mobile browsers due to the difference in mobile platform display sizes.
  • Choices – Implementing a sticky navigation menu depends on website needs. If a website contains many pages that require frequent page changes, then the sticky option is an ideal option. On the other hand, if a website is targeting mobile users, then a sticky menu might not be a good addition since it has browser incompatibility issues. In such cases, it would be appropriate to have a parallel website version specifically for mobile users that does not include sticky navigation.

Sticky navigation is a helpful and practical web design element. It greatly improves users browsing experience by eliminating the need to scroll back up just to get to the menu. Sticky navigation may be something new – don’t let it be something that is ignored when it can be so useful in improving website navigation!

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