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Mega Menus

Use Mega Menus (Not Drop-Down Menus)

A mega menu appears in a broad area and shows up to 2 levels of the menu. Mega menus are recommended to enhance a user's ability to navigate the site.

  • Reasoning: Mega menus that show everything at once are easier to navigate than the typical "tree and branch" structure of drop-down menus. For bigger sites with many features, regular drop-down menus typically hide most of the user's options.
  • Resource: Mega Menus Work Well by Jakob Nielsen

Use All Mega Menus or Only 1

All navigation items use mega menus or only 1 does, such as the Help Center or How Do I.

  • Reasoning: This provides consistency or expected uniqueness in the navigation. If the mega menus appear random a user may get confused on how the site is supposed to behave.

Use 2-Tiers to Show Relationships

Two-tier mega menus let you emphasize relationships among items. Use categories to house similar information within the first and second tiers of a mega menu. For example, under a Services global navigation, group all utilities and public works information into a group that is called “Public Work Services”, or anything animal related into “Animal Services”, etc. (Note: If you have a smaller site, use a 1-tier mega menu and include links with obvious destinations, such as Adopt a Pet or Pay My Utility Bill.)

  • Reasoning: Two-tier mega menus allow the user to see deeper into the navigation. Categorizing and placing all pages related to each other within the same section under a global navigation item helps users understand their choices.
  • Resource: Mega Menus Work Well by Jakob Nielsen
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