Round 2 of responsive investigations had Jackie and I talking about layout. As you recall from Round 1, we have a basic foundation for the navigation menus. Again, this is just a draft used to build the first prototype.

Now it’s time to start setting up an actual interface. One of the hardest parts of navigation design is that you’re trying to compact a large amount of information into small spaces. The content on the page info chunk is still the reason the user is there in the first place, the navigation shouldn’t interfere.

You want it to be obvious to the user where they want to go, but you can’t just shove a bunch of links in their face, that’s NOT user-friendly. Even if that was an option, you can’t fit an entire menu fully-expanded on the screen. So you have to choose what to show. What are the menus? What are the menus TITLED? Where are the menus located? What can we abbreviate? Can we use icons to save space? Will the user know to click on X to get to Y? Do these pants make me look fat?

There are no right and wrong solutions, it’s a constant balancing act. Intuitive Interface design is crazy hard. I think those Apple people know a bit about it…

We have a design that can be prototyped. Now we need user input.

Resources

For anyone looking at mobile navigation patterns, Brad Frost has an excellent post regarding the different methods used: http://bradfrostweb.com/blog/web/responsive-nav-patterns/.

Honestly, his site is chocked full of good information for, you really should read it all:  http://bradfrostweb.com/blog/

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