Side menu placement?

  Simon_P 18:59 03 Apr 2006
Locked

Just looking for opinions on side menu placement left or right, pros and cons.

I know the standard thing seems to be left navigation column.
I am building a webpage template to be incorporated into my main site (eventually)
I quite like the overall feel of right menu placement with the main body on the left (two columns) I just wondered if this layout might annoy people.

Page centered in window to fit a 800 or wider screen. (fixed)

TIA

Simon

  ade.h 19:08 03 Apr 2006

I have played around with that layout - I like being different I guess - but I haven't as yet adopted it in a final build. I tend to use a horizontal navbar across the top on most sites, as I prefer this. Though it depends on site structure, number of pages and what level they are on, and whether you want to use flyouts.

If I think about this for a minute, it seems like my mouse cursor tends to rest on the right half of the browser screen more often than not, so maybe right-hand placement would work very well for me at least, though I would try balancing it with content on the left as well, with the main body content in the middle.

  ade.h 20:17 03 Apr 2006

Yeah, I should have added that nearly all my sites use centred positioning, and latterly, table-based dynamic layouts. So the alignment in high-res screens is not an issue, especially when using a dynamic tables.

  Simon_P 23:46 03 Apr 2006

Always a tough call deciding page layout I guess, not keen on fluid layout and personally like fixed as it keeps the content consistent (as far as I know) the con being that it can seem a little lost on large displays.

The design is xhtml strict with CSS, and seems to work ok from IE 5.1 and later, Firefox etc, and reasonable un-styled for old browser support, as there are still a few lurking about.
So many variants to consider! Such fun ha ha!

  PurplePenny 12:19 04 Apr 2006

Another con being that fixed layouts will fail WAI AA rule 3.4: "Use relative rather than absolute units in markup language attribute values and style sheet property values." click here

  Simon_P 21:04 04 Apr 2006

I always find theses threads fascinating, I have read much of the W3S although it is rather large so missed this!
My web skills are probably beyond beginner, but don’t think I can afford myself the title of intermediate either.
Fixed does validate so I guess that is a good thing not being a pro, I think we can obsess sometimes over some Rules, as I photographer I can relate rules and there are time when they are best ignored too (the rule of thirds etc can be great and also a hindrance)
There are IMO some great sites such as CSS play that have a fixed layout, an I find it hard to deny that is a bad thing.

One thing that dose amuse me to some extent (apologies for my non conformist cynical view lol) is that whilst I would agree it must be a good thing to have a fluid layout and therefore have no wasted space it can at times cause issues (probably because my lack of knowledge) No one worries that a book or news paper is the same size regardless of the amount of space you have to read it (on a cramped train or in the luxury of your lounge spread out.) You can adapt as required.

Still I am always interested to here the opinions of those more knowledgeable than myself (most people here)

Doctype, xhtml and CSS are all fun to play with, hard to learn and for me a great challenge.

Enough of my ramblings *grin*
Simon

  PurplePenny 23:50 04 Apr 2006

If you were reading the newspaper with a prosthetic arm it might make a difference to the ease of use whether it was a broadsheet or tabloid and whether you could spread it out on a table or had to hold it in your hand on a bus.

Of course a fixed layout can validate. Using valid code is only part of accessibility. The point is that the rules in this case are there to assist disabled users to access your web site. If your site is commercial, and therefore offering a service, failing on accessibility means that (at best) you lose custom and (at worst) you are liable for prosecution under the Disabilities Discrimination Act.

  Simon_P 00:09 05 Apr 2006

“(at worst) you are liable for prosecution under the Disabilities Discrimination Act”

That is just scary.
I’m not sure I fully understand that by having a fixed width that would make it harder for people with disabilities, but you are the expert, for me it’s a toy for want of better a term.

My site is not commercial, but it could be interpreted as such I guess. When I have finished pulling my hair out I will post it up, but play nicely though ha ha.

The paper thing was just a way of interpretation and I guess a little tongue in cheek.

Thank you very much for your time and input.

Simon

  PurplePenny 00:35 05 Apr 2006

It's highly unlikely. So far bodies like the RNIB have only gone after big sites and all cases to date have been settled out of court (if I recall correctly).

I'm no accessibilty expert but I do have to check the pages that I write for the library because as a higher education site it all has to be SENDA compliant and WAI AA. I belong to an accessibility forum where there are some real experts and they are *really* tough to please.

The reasoning behind some of the accessibility guidelines isn't always clear.. and according to the experts on that forum, a lot of the rules are flawed and don't actually result in greater accessibility.

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