You’ll all be familiar with Mega Menus, in fact a majority of the retailers we work with now have them, but there is a great deal of variation in the quality that we see. Are retailers getting it right? How could they be improved? And if you haven’t introduced a mega menu, but are thinking about it where should you start, what should you consider? In this brief introduction we will offer a few hints and tips and point you in the direction of some great posts for further research.
The business case for improving your navigation
If you sell online your users need to be able to navigate to products intuitively with minimum effort. Endless unstructured lists of links that make it harder for users to find what they’re looking for will not help users checkout. While users may persevere to find a product that they set out to find, users are less likely to bother to find complementary products. So as well as harming conversion, poor navigation will hurt your average order value.
Mega menus allow you to structure choices into panels or sub-areas and illustrate these choices. Therefore selecting appropriate categories is of crucial importance. Categories also give you the opportunity to cater for different types of user with different priorities.
Order – Alphabetical or Top Selling Categories?
When arranging the menu items a key question emerges. Should the links always be in alphabetical order or should your best selling categories be promoted for maximum exposure. In some of our recent moderated usability test session we found that some users expected items to be order alphabetically while others where happy to scan small groups of menu items and often selected key categories that were placed near the top, in particular ‘New In’ categories.
In the example above from Surfdome they have selected some key ‘New In’ categories, followed by the full list of categories in alphabetical order. In further columns they provide users with more options if the main categories don’t grab the user or they’re looking for a different way to browse. I guess this leaves us with another “it depends” answer and so as always we’ll have to say, “Test it and see.”
This post only covers the tip of the iceberg. If you’re driven to read more, here are some good places to start: