WORD PRESS

RE: Drop Down Menus

Menus basically consist of categories, pages and links.

When constructing a menu for my site, over time my menu will grow as I expand the site.

This growth is reflected in the number of categories, pages and links.

To make the menu appear smaller than it is, for efficiency and efficacy reasons we separate and categorize some of our menu items into drop down menus.

For instance you may want to put all of your links under one main heading, all the categories under a different main heading, all the pages under a different main heading and so forth.

We all do it eventually if we’re adding to the site and redesigning how we want to organize our posts to make the retrieval of them more efficient for the reader.

This is not a problem when using a computer or a laptop or tablet.

However, when using a hand held device aka mobile device matters change.

What is efficient on a computer via the drop down menu becomes frustrating on a mobile device. The tap is the reason. Most menu headers, unless it’s a category, are actual pages that we assign a menu heading to eg. we post a page where the title says ‘RECIPES’. Under that title page on the menu we place categories eg. breakfast, lunch, supper, so that when you hover over the title page ‘RECIPES the items under it drop down into view.

I have an iphone. I had no idea the trouble presented by drop down menus on mobile devices, caused by the necessity of tapping the right side of the individual menu title to activate the drop down menu for that title. I never use my iphone to go to my own sites, except to look at how it fits the screen. Other people do though, using their phones. I discovered through testing that nine out of ten times when, I tapped exactly the location where the marker sets on the right end of a title, instead of the drop down menu appearing, it goes to the title page. So, because of my own experience I had to think this is happening to others, when trying to access my content. It changed my whole way of looking for new themes.

The purpose of tapping the right side of a menu title is to drop down the menu. But for me on my iphone, nine out of ten times it goes to the title page and nothing drops down. Or, I tap repeatedly and nothing at all happens.

This never happens when I tap a category or a page that is not part of the drop down menu configuration.

As a result, and because I want the person going to my site to have a breezy experience instead of a frustrating one, I can only use themes that show the entire menu, including the drop down menus in their entirety on mobile devices. So no one has to tap to drop down a menu.

That is a real handicap for me. Upgrades do not solve that problem. I have tried every single theme that Word Press offers – free and premium, more than once, again and again trying to make them work with my content.

I have found a few, but then there are always other factors that determine whether a theme will work for your content.

Regarding drop down menus, I think that Word Press should require the design of all themes to make available a menu on mobile devices showing every item, and indenting drop down items under the corresponding menu title, instead of hiding them under a title that needs to be tapped to drop down.

It’s all to make it easier for the reader to get to your content, without throwing their hands up in the air in exasperation and giving up.

That’s my experience and my recommendation.

Oh, I tried in the beginning to simply do away with the drop down menus on my seven sites. It made a mess. The main menus were so large and confusing that my eyes didn’t know where to look for anything. It’s like a bunch of words on a board row after row that lose their meaning, because there’s no organization to them. Drop down menus for large sites are critical for ease of access to your content. All we need now is ‘no drop downs’ on mobile devices – indents only. When presented vertically, it’s not confusing when you see the menu in it’s entirety – as long as there are indents where appropriate. It’s the horizontal menu that confuses the eye without drop downs. All hand held devices use vertical menus.






 

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