I have been seeing a trend in new navigation on top sites out there.  I have heard this suggested from friends and colleagues who are graphic designers.

PBS

Maybe there is another term out there, but for now I am calling it the Mega Dropdown Navigation.

I have seen on top sites such as http://www.npr.org (new redesign),  http://www.whitehouse.gov, and http://www.nbc.com to name a few.

It provides a new way of getting at large volumes of data broken down in separate sections and categories.

I am still skeptical regarding its usage, but at first glance I like much more than old school DHTML menus or hefty left hand navigation.White House
Just in the three examples I am giving I see different implementations.

  • On Navigation Click – Pops up when you click on main navigation.
  • On Mouseover – Pops up when mouseover the navigation.

Also how the navigation shows differs.  One NBC and the White House it is a navigation window that pops up.  The NPR goes a different approach where the graphical look seems to extend displaying a hidden navigation or section.NBC
Seems like you could go a lot further with it and put dropdown and other tools on this layer.

I think what really matters with using a navigation like this is how you inter-connect your data within your site allowing users to get between  categories and different sections of your site.

Just sharing an observation of a trend I’m seeing, we’ll see where it goes.

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