We're starting the early phases of contemplating a complete redesign/restructuring of our Web site, and we've already done some internal reorganization of navigation to see how we can improve the end-user navigation experience.
The problem, which I'm sure is common for pretty much all
higher-ed sites is that we have a ton
of content and various campus constituents who are convinced that their
content outranks everyone else's.
This situation is what has led to our current problem of gigantic dropdown menus with 20-30 entries.
So, as we evaluate ways to improve/reduce the total number of navigation options, we're looking around for interesting/different/modern means of displaying them. In the "olden days", it would have been done via a cumbersome, multi-tier dropdown/flyout menuing system, but those are just too clunky these days.
One thing that turned up in our searching was "iPod-style drilldown" navigation: http://www.filamentgroup.com/lab/jquery_ipod_style_and_flyout_menus/
It's interesting and, presumably, something that our primary audience, prospective students, is more likely to be familiar with, given the omnipresence of this type of navigation in today's gadgets.
However, the article is over a year old, and my concern is that, by the time we implement this (which could be at least
year away), it'll be outdated or overused.
I know there has been a mini-trend on the business side of things toward "megamenus" (http://www.thatagency.com/design-studio-blog/2009/04/the-mega-menu/
), but I don't know that they've taken off on the higher-ed side.
Does anyone have any examples of excellent
navigation functionality for higher-ed sites? Or any information about cutting-edge navigation functionality/styles?
Thanks in advance for your help,
Manager of Web and Electronic Communications
Ohio Wesleyan University