RESPONSIVE MENUS: ENHANCING NAVIGATION ON MOBILE WEBSITES

This Blog is originally posted on Cooperative Computing.

Majority of us are quite familiar with responsive Web design at this point. Basically, it uses a blend of a liquid layout and media queries to change the layout and design of a site to fit distinctive screen sizes. There are different contemplations, as well. For instance, a great deal of work has been done on responsive images, ensuring not just that images fit in a small screen design, but also the files downloaded to devices are smaller, as well.

But the mobile design isn’t just about layout and speed: it’s about user experience as well. In this article, we’ll concentrate on one aspect of user experience — navigation menus — and detail a couple ways to improving them work better on mobile devices.

WHAT ARE RESPONSIVE MENUS?

By responsive menus, we mean basically navigation menus whose presentation or behavior is modified on various devices and screen widths.There are different ways to accomplish this, whether by utilizing CSS or other languages, like PHP.

There are a couple ways in which a menu could change on different devices:

  • It could have distinctive styling, fitting differently in a browser window, or potentially resembling a menu from an app.
  • It could have distinctive content, with the links adjusting to devices they’re being viewed on.
  • They could show up in a different location on the page or screen.

WHY USE RESPONSIVE MENUS?

For visitors utilizing a small screen, the user experience requirements for navigation will be distinctive.

The first and most evident reason for this is the size of the screen itself; the navigation should fit in that space without dominating the page (unless you need it to). Another reason is that navigation on most devices has to be tapped on. The thumb is bigger and less precise than a PC mouse, so your navigation links should be larger. This remains constant even on huge tablets, such as the iPad, whose screen size is practically identical to that of a desktop screen however is still being tapped with a finger as opposed to clicked with a mouse.

RESPONSIVE MENUS HAVE VARIOUS ADVANTAGES:

  • Design: The navigation is fundamental to the design, so it won’t look appropriate with a different layout. The best adjustment to a responsive menu would be just to upgrade its appearance.
  • Ergonomics: Navigation links on a mobile site should be large and clear to be utilized with “one thumb and one eye”. As found by Mobile development Texas; making anything tappable the size with respect to a fingertip, which it characterizes as 44 points square, or roughly 57 pixels square. This is a considerably greater than a link in a text-based menu, which may be just 14 pixels high. therefore, the clickable region of a link on a mobile site should not only encompass the text but also the region around the text, and this would be suitable to the user.
  • User Experience: Users may interact with your menu differently on a smartphone. In addition to the content of the menu and also the size of the links, consider how the position of the menu will influence user experience. For instance, a user who has scrolled to the end of a long blog won’t be slanted to scroll all the way up to use the menu. Some designers settle the menu at the top or bottom of the screen to get around this, or they move navigation to the bottom of the page and include a “Menu” link to the top. Some designers incompletely shroud the menu until the user taps on it, to decrease the amount of screen space that it takes up — especially vital with fixed-position menus, which will hide the majority of the content if you’re not careful!
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