Menu structure

• Aug 1, 2017 - 15:21
Reported version
S4 - Minor

(btw, needing to select a "version" for web site issues is a bit awkward)

In general, I find it confusing when web sites have drop down menus in which the top level item is itself active. That is, the Download menu contains two elements - Soundfonts and Plugins - but it's not really that clear you can also click Download itself to get to the software.

I think if nothing else, "Software" should be an item on the Download menu. But also, the other items are inconsistent. Support and Contribute both take you to appropriate landing pages that basically duplicate the contents of the menu, but Contribute also adds quite a few line items (Translation, etc) not present in the menu.

Also, these top level menus are kind of hard to activate. They seem to require two clicks to activate most of the time, at least with Chrome on Windows.


Actualy, it's not just top level menus that require two clicks - elements within menus do as well. That is, it takes me two clicks pretty much every time to activate, say, Support / Forum. After hovering over Support, the menu pops down, but then clicking Forum does nothing the first time. Same with just about everything.

I like the look, but the interaction definitely feels very glitchy.

I'll see if we can make this more clear through some style (css) while hovering over the menu.

We can also simply remove the menu items and only keep the top one.

As for the Windows/Chrome issue, I will try to reproduce because indeed, for touch devices there is a double click.

Removing the menu items would presumably fix the double click issue, and also solve the consistency / usability issue of a user not knowing if there is any useful info in that top level menu. On the other hand, it's kind of a shame to lose it. I mentioned on IRC I've had this issue with one of my own sites, I blamed a lame Wordpress theme, but I guess there is more to it than that.

I like the behaviour of the Support and Contribute menus where clicking the heading takes you to a page which explains the other menu options. This would mean adding a "Software" option to the Download menu. The Features menu is returning "Page not found" at the moment.

It's still useful as a landing page for searches, etc. And I do like how the TED site puts more information into the menus so you don't feel like you are missing out on much just seeing the titles.

What's funny to me is that this would seem to be the sort of problem that needs to be solved over and over again in web site design and yet it seems everyone does it differently and tool support for this is still wonky.

Normally main menus do nothing but display sub menus. If I didn't know better, I would expect the only things possible to download sound fonts and plugins.

It's true top level menus normally are not active themselves *within applications*. For *web sites*, though, this is not so clear. Many sites don't use drop down menus at all - just a menu bar. So the top level menu is clickable, and that's the only way to access the content underneath. For those web sites that *do* provide drop down menus, I see lots of inconsistencies in how the navigation works, and indeed lots of sites seem awkward to me in this respect.

To pick some big ones: top level menu is Store, Products, and Support. All three are drop down menus that require click to open. There is no page for the top level menu. Clicking the top-level menu after opening it just closes it again, same as typically happens for applications. However, unlike with applications, after clicking to open one menu, you can't then navigate the other menus just by hovering. You have to click each top level menu in turn. top level menu is Mac, iPad, iPhone, Watch, etc. None are dropdowns. All require a click and this just takes you the corresponding page. top level menu is Departments, Browsing History, Today's Deals, Gift Cards & Registry, etc. Some of the top level menus are drop downs (indicated with a down arrow), others are not. The dropdowns open with just a hover. But you can also click the top level menu for these and get a page much like the "Contribute" page we are talking about here - page that summarizes the menu. top level menu is Electronics, Playstation, Entertainment, Support. All but Playstation are dropdowns, indicated with a down arrow and activated on hover. If you hover on one of the top level menus that are dropdowns (say, Electronics), clicking on that top level menu just closes the menu again. But for Playstation - the only non-dropdown of the bunch - clicking it is how you access that page. top level menu is Series, Sports, Documentaries, etc. All are dropdowns except the last one, Kids. Instead of marking the ones that are dropdowns, they mark the one that is *not*, with an icon I interpret to mean it's going to open a new window (it doesn't, but it does take you to a different site, All of the dropdown menus operate on hover. Clicking the top level menu after hovering over it and thus opening the menu does nothing at all - the dropdown stays open. top level menu is Products, Blog, Training, etc. None are dropdowns. All require a click and this just takes you the corresponding page.

So you can see, lots of inconsistency here. Way more so than in application menus.

If clicking Download on the current main menu took you to a page that allowed you to download anything that MuseScore allows you to download it would make sense. There is nothing that leads you to believe that clicking the menu will take to to the application download page. I don't have a problem with clicking download taking you to a general download page, but Download MuseScore 2.1 should be listed in the menu items.

My guess is that the assumption is that the user has initially brought up the initial landing page that is the application download page and will download the score from thee. There are several ways a user can get to another page with no apparent way to return to this download page. It is possible that people will end up on another page (such as forums) first if they do a google search and discover MuseScore.

I like being able to get straight to menu items without having to load a landing page, but I think landing pages can be helpful for new users because they explain what the options mean.

Why not make the top menu button double-click for everyone, not just touch users, or add a "more about these" option to the bottom of each menu?

After looking at all these options (and others) and thinking about it, if I were to vote, it would to be for something like TED - with real info in each menu item. Ideally also menus that open on hover, for devices where this makes sense. But since clicking the top level menu does *nothing* on TED, and we probably want the landing pages anyhow, I'd also vote that clicking the top level menu takes you to that landing page. Not sure what that means for touch devices, but if there's no way to get that same behavior, that's OK.

Since all of the menus have submenus, I would suggest click to open the menus. This would eliminate issues for people with touch screens.

I think we are agreed. One click to open the menu, another click to go to the landing page.

I personally think the menus will become too big and cluttered if a TED-style description is added to each item, but happy to be proved wrong.

In firefox the download menu is extremely clear for me and doesn't require double click (or any enhancement).
Or I don't understand what you are talking about?
See attached print screen before clicking download (menu1) and after (menu2)

Attachment Size
menu1.PNG 2.37 KB
menu2.PNG 19.23 KB

Oh, nice, thanks.
The Download menu is (probably after that change of Thomas) very clear and auto-opens, requiring only one click to access the pages.

If it is helpful for you that I try various things in the new web site, no problem, just ask.