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Global Navigation


Global Navigation was defined as links to a site's top-level categories that occur on every page of the site.

Data below is from 75 leading e-commerce sites, collected in May, 2002. [sites examined]


Frequency of Global Navigation

97% of sites included global links to the site's top-level categories.

While global links to top-level categories help reinforce the breadth of a site's offering, they also consume significant screen real estate for links that arguably are not as relevant to users as page-specific content. This is particularly true at the lower levels of the hierarchy, where there is a larger amount of semantic distance between the global links and the page content.


Location of Global Navigation

top global navigation

89% Top

[view example]

global navigation left

11% Left

[view example]


Style for Global Navigation

[style definitions]
Navigation Tabs (50% of these placed subnavigation in a horizontal bar under the tabs.) [note]
Navigation Bar
Plain List
Pull-Down Menu
Navigation Buttons

Use of Pop-Up (Cascading or Fly-Away) Menus

12% of sites used pop-up (cascading) menus as part of their global navigation (example below). These submenus allow user access directly to deeper levels of a site from any page.

cascading menus


©Heidi P. Adkisson. 2005. All rights reserved.
Related Studies
No related studies identified.