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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)


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Justizin <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 27 Apr 2007 08:45:14 -0700
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Hello Stephanie!

On 4/26/07, Stephanie Brenton <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I would like to hear some opinions on floating navigation.
> It is for a very small website (8 pages total). It is implemented with
> CSS positioning as a fixed element, so it behaves similarly to the
> navigation at (on the
> right-side).

I often wonder why more people do not follow w3 lead with interfaces
like this, personally I feel it's very powerful, flexible, and a good
use of screen space.

> Unlike the example above, my navigation would be on the left. For
> older browsers where this is not supported, it is absolutely
> positioned (so that it moves off screen as do the rest of the
> contents). Of course, there would be additional navigation (contextual
> and Next/Previous links at the bottom of every page).
> Pros and Cons as I see them...
> Pros:
> * I like that the floating makes the navigational menu available in
> the same spacial location no matter how far the user scrolls downward.

muscle memory!

> * Users do not need to scroll back to the top of the screen if they
> are below the fold and want to access the menu.
> Cons:
> * It only works in older browsers

only, or doesn't?  Use some javascript to swap a style in older
browsers if you want to, say, have this float in a higher z-layer when
a cue click occurs..

> * Space must be reserved for the menu so that it does not overlap
> other content on the page. (There is not much content on this site.
> Header on top, navigation on the left, middle column is text and a
> third column for a vertical flickr badge.)

Speaking as an experienced visual designer, most designs approach in a
header / footer, e.g. top / bottom sort of way on the web, and that's
totally off-base.  What you and w3 are doing is far superior IMO, as
it will stretch well and the #1 argument I hear about designing pages
that are device-independent and stretch properly is:

  "But, but, when I use my old school of print page layout to design
headers and footers they take up the entire screen and the text lines
are far too wide!"

So, welcome to embracing a paradigm shift, I applaud you!

> Am I missing anything?
> Can anyone point me to guidelines for web interfaces that discourage
> fixed positioning using CSS? (I have been criticized for using this
> technique).

Criticized, by whom, the church!?? ;)

Justin Alan Ryan
Independent Interactivity Architect

Niccolo Machiavelli - "Whosoever desires constant success must change
his conduct with the times."

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