Navigation can singularly make or break a site. It is responsible for the enjoyment (and success) of the user’s interaction. If they enjoy using it they will keep coming back. If they don’t, you will never see them again. It should form the backbone to any content-rich site and the starting point for the organization and architecture of your build.
Traditionally, navigation has always been entirely visible, giving the user the full range of options on screen at any one time. Horizontal navigation pushes its inherent purpose towards an explorative experience and it is during this exploration that you can surprise and delight the user and deliver content in an unexpected and enchanting way!
- Include “quick” navigation. Providing two alternate routes to important content will cater for two distinct types of user. This is particularly important when building explorative navigation.
- Surprise your user! When breaking conventions make sure you have fun with it!
- Apply some basic techniques – Parallax and depth of field can lift a flat 2D plane whilst lnertia adds fluidity to navigating.
- Overload the computer! Pay careful attention to the total scrollable area and be mindful of how much the CPU has to move around the screen.
- Ignore your user. Make sure the navigation is suited to the information you are delivering. A great explorative navigation system is not always the best way to deliver large amounts of information-heavy content
- Develop another 2D town-scope. They have been done to death!