Getting things done on our new website using the ‘Mega Menus’

As you might already know from our previous post Part 1: Welcome to our new website, we’re unveiling our new website at the end of July and wanted to show you how you can get things done on the new site using the ‘Mega Menus’.

Mega Menus


 

Easy navigation across the site’s top-level categories with access to popular links and transactions, and a clear view of sub-categories.

The video below shows how the ‘Mega Menu’ works.

(Thanks to the Camden webteam member, Michael Fredman, who has kindly allowed us to use music he created for this video clip)

Why we chose to use Mega Menus on our website

Mega menus are a growing trend in the world of web design. Sitepoint (a leading web developer website) confirmed this with their article titled ‘Mega menus: The next web design trend‘.

Here are a couple of example of UK retail sites using mega menus.

 

Asos mega menu

B&Q mega menu

Ben Logan, from the Spotless Interactive agency recently  described some of the design problems of large websites, such as  local councils. With more than 700 services to offer customers, building a website of this scale can be a daunting and complicated task.

He said

….Navigating large websites has always been a design problem not just with regards to information architecture and taxonomies but also specifically how that information is presented visually on the page.

Even the world’s leading web usability guru, Jakob Nielsen says ‘Mega Drop-Down Navigation Menus Work Well

Jakob Nielsen also gives evidence of mega menus effectiveness compared to regular drop-down menus through its user testing in the same article.

Jakob Nielsen says…

Mega Drop-Downs Beat Regular Drop-Downs

We know from user testing that mega drop-downs work. Here are some arguments to support this empirical fact:

  • For bigger sites with many features, regular drop-down menus typically hide most of the user’s options. Yes, you can scroll, but (a) it’s a pain and (b) scrolling down hides the initial options. As a result, you can’t visually compare all your choices; you have to rely on short-term memory. People have enough on their minds, and messing with short-term memory reduces their ability to accomplish their tasks on your site. Mega drop-downs show everything at a glance, so users can see rather than try to remember.
  • Regular drop-downs don’t support grouping unless you use kludges, such as prefixing secondary choices with a “-” to indent them. Mega-drop-downs let you visually emphasize relationships among items. This again helps users understand their choices.

Our customers agree

Not to be solely influenced by web gurus, we also turned to our users for feedback through usability testings and user research. Our users agreed that the mega menus are user-friendly, gives a much clearer sense of navigation and was a big improvement to our current website.

To find out more about the website’s progress, please follow our blog at https://www3.camden.gov.uk/camdenwebsite
The webteam