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Heather Bauer: Form & Function for Menus - How to Get IA and Navigation Right

Friday, April 29, 2016 - 1:00pm

UXPA Boston Conference

Sheraton Boston Hotel
39 Dalton St
Boston, MA 02199

Event Type: 

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, did it make a sound? What if you have a feature that a user can’t find - does it really exist?

Hero menus (more formally known as mega menus) have become increasingly popular for large sites with many sections and pieces of information to put all of the options in front of the user at once. E-commerce sites such as, and all utilize mega menus to display more context and additional levels of navigation. The question becomes whether these mega menus are going to become the best choice for all websites or whether there is still place for the standard drop down, fly out, and accordion menus. Jakob Nielsen may have blessed the mega menu but is it really the most usable of the options in your situation?

During this session I will cover:

  • The differences between mega menus and other navigational menu structures
  • When is the best time to use each type of navigational menu structures?
  • How do you determine your navigational needs?
  • What implications are there when considering the mobile first mindset
  • Does your navigational structure introduce a paradox of choice?

Who will benefit

  • Anyone building or revamping information architecture
  • Anyone deciding where to put that new page they are designing
Heather Bauer

Heather Bauer is the UX Product Specialist for BioRAFT, the provider of integrated laboratory safety and research management software solutions powered by Drupal. Heather completed her Masters of Science in Human Factors and Information Design from Bentley University in December 2014. She co-organizes Drupal Nights and has presented at Design4Drupal and NERD Summit. During her studies at Bentley, Heather performed user research for one of the largest Pharma companies in the United States, a small educational startup, and Sapient, a marketing and consulting firm. She also acted as co-organizer for the Boston Service Jam 2014, a 48 hour event promoting service design. Heather was an Expert in Residence at General Assembly for their course, User Experience Design (UXD). User Experience Design is a twelve-week course, taking students with varied experiences from zero to prototype in the UX design process. Working for BioRAFT has allowed Heather to deliver real-world UX experiences and artifacts to her students. Her specialties are product management, usability studies and interface design.