Menu Best Practices

Menu

  • Maximum of six main menu items across the top
  • Approximately a maximum of six sub menu items in a dropdown
  • Every page on the site doesn't need to be on the menu
  • Should be able to organize every non-menu page on the site under a main and submenu item (example path: main menu item>sub menu item>page not on menu)
  • Menu should not contain any duplicate links

Menu Item Name

  • Approximately 1-3 key terms, users see about two words when scanning list items. (resource: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/first-2-words-a-signal-for-scanning/)
  • Avoid using “/” or “,” in the menu name
  • Use topic-based main menu names (describes the content on the page it links to)
  • Figure out what users are looking for and use menu names that are familiar and relevant as opposed to cute made-up words or internal jargon. (resource: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/menu-design/)
  • Avoid using format based main menu names such as "videos", "files", "photos", etc.
  • Avoid using audience based main menu names (describes who should click the link)

Menu Item Link

  • Text in link should mostly match the menu item name
  • Omit words like "and", "or", "but", "of", "the", "a", etc.
  • Should link to a page on the site, not a document file or different site (exception: when a parent site menu item links to child site and the child site displays the parent site in its breadcrumbs for example when using an organic group site configuration)
  • Use all lowercase letters
  • Separate words with a hyphen
  • Spell out words, don't truncate or abbreviate them
  • Avoid using menu items as anchor links (links that jump you down to a specific place on a page)

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