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User Experience: Practical Techniques, Vol. 2 by Smashing Magazine

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Horizontal Navigation Menus: Trends, Patterns And Best Practices

By Louis Lazaris

The horizontal navigation menu has become a mainstay in Web design. It is safe to say that nowadays most websites use some form of horizontal navigation to facilitate content browsing. The dominance of horizontal navigation over vertical (i.e. down a sidebar) is obviously due to the design and content limitations of the latter. Notably, CNN discovered those limitations1 before switching from vertical to horizontal a few years back.

There are, however, many styles of horizontal navigation in modern Web design. Some offer usability advantages for certain types of websites, while others are aesthetically better.

In this chapter, we will focus on a variety of techniques ...

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