The UKAPW navigation: could do (much) better

With several distinct types of navigation, this aspect of the 2010 UKAPW is superior to its predecessors. But the implementation is substandard for a site of its size and importance. This page looks at the UKAPW's navigation in its horizontal, vertical and other forms.

[1] Horizontal navigation

The UKAPW implementation

Horizontal navigation is via a megamenu – good news, as experts think megamenus work well

There are a number of issues with the implementation, including:
  • The menus are translucent, making them hard to read.
  • There are "bad links" – the link highlighted in red redirects to member login. This has now been removed, and the menu made translucent.
  • The paucity of links gives the false impression that the site lacks content.
  • The overly-long link wordings result in word-wrapping, which looks odd.
  • The additional text explanation in the blue box above should be unnecessary.
  • Making the active horizontal menu tab a different colour would be welcome.

One better approach: expanding the horizontal navigation links

Here's one approach to remove the impression of limited content through the paucity of links:


This approach could include making the horizontal navigation and sitemap identical. The myFIA site shows how this could be implemented; the top horizontal navigation has the same content as the alternative sitemap

Another better approach

Here's an approach that could work if we want to retain the small number of horizontal links.


The bit you're supposed to look at is the dropdown menus just below the top set.

[2] Left hand column navigation

At the very least we don't want navigation and sitemap disasters like the one below.


Regrettably that remained in place for weeks after I reported it.

[3] Other navigation

[3.1] Sitemap

The sitemap is not fit for purpose and is occasionally disastrous But this is easily fixed

[3.2] Simple links

All-too-often there are bad links – take as as an example the the SA5 learning portal You are interested in the 2007 "Modelling and managing risk" article by Paul Sweeting. Clicking on the link gives the message "Page not found The requested page could not be found." We'll have to use the site search ...

The link:

[3.3] Site search

You can click on the following graphic to open up the relevant UKAPW link:

Search - attempt 1

An advanced Google search on modelling and managing risk restricted to finds the right link to the Sweeting paper – first time.

OK, I wasn't being entirely fair, as using quotes makes it work, but you see my point.

Search - attempt 2

As in 2008, an advanced Google search may still be better!

[3.4] Breadcrumb

An occasionally useful addition.

[3.5] Footer

This contains useful "quick links" but they are hidden out of view aka "below the fold". Many of these would be more usefully placed in the megamenu Alternatively, just make the quick links more visible. The short descriptions are welcome. The "directories" description seems less than informative. Site features is a hidden gem, but the page suffers from a lack of links.