Our team recently launched www.wholeplanetfoundation.org. The mission alone really created an extra sense of project ownership for our team.
The lead programmer who also happens to take ping pong way too seriously incorporated an element of “persistent navigation.” So what is persistent navigation?
Example: Let’s say your task is to check out Whole Food’s CEO John Mackey’s involvement with the Whole Planet Foundation. You visit http://www.wholeplanetfoundation.org/about/directors/ and click on “John Mackey.” You first notice how smoothly the page glides down to Mackey’s content. After reading up on how Whole Foods was created you are ready to get involved with the cause. Rather than having to manually scroll up or find a “back to top” link you notice the navigation has traveled with you down the page. The “Get Involved” button is just pixels away making Mr Fitts of Fitts law happy based on how close the target (in this case the “Get Involved” button) is from your mouse. As my five year old son says, “How cool is that!”
Being in business since 1995 we have seen many early examples of what we are now calling persistent navigation with the use of frames for example. Framed pages are carved up into one or many scrolling boxes often creating an unwieldy experience. The framed site approach was usually jumpy and not very smooth. Based on user task feedback, we feel 12 years later persistent navigation may indeed have its place on the web as shaving a few seconds off of a visitor’s experience. Any time savings in our world is big reason to celebrate!
So what do you think about the persistent navigation approach?
Steve C. Kahle – Managing Principal – White Lion Internet Agency