Menu Positioning on Web Pages. Does it Matter?

This article is by Dr Pietro Murano, The Universal Design of ICT Research Group in Oslo, Norway, and Tracey J Lomas, Computer Science and Software Engineering, University of Salford, UK.

Abstract: This paper concerns an investigation by the authors into the efficiency and user opinions of menu positioning in web pages. While the idea and use of menus on web pages are not new, the authors feel there is not enough empirical evidence to help designers choose an appropriate menu position. We therefore present the design and results of an empirical experiment, investigating the usability of menu positioning on web pages. A four condition experiment was conducted by the authors. Each condition tested a different menu position. The menu positions tested were left vertical, right vertical, top horizontal and bottom horizontal. The context was a fictitious online store. The results, based on statistical analysis and statistically significant findings, suggest that the top horizontal and left vertical positioned menus incurred fewer errors and fewer mouse clicks. Furthermore, the user satisfaction ratings were in line with the efficiency aspects observed.  Download the article here PDF