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Thread: Main Navigation- best place to put it?

  1. #1
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    Main Navigation- best place to put it?

    I was wondering- is it better for the navigation around the site to be before or after the content? I know for usability purposes it should be positioned at the top, but for accessibility purposes, where should it be placed in the markup?

    Thanks in advance for your responses.

  2. #2
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    what about stretched along the side of the content, for all to read all the time, with lots and lots of access keys?
    "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside a dog, it is too dark to read." - Mark Twain

  3. #3
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    I myself has been looking into the concept of fixed navigation... I think it would be ubercool. I wrote up a nifty little CSS bit that is teh schweetness in Firefox, but not being a JavaScripter I can't make it work in IE.

    IF ONLY IE SUPPORTED NON-ANCHOR PSEUDO-CLASSES!!!
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  4. #4
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    Originally posted by rhsunderground
    what about stretched along the side of the content, for all to read all the time, with lots and lots of access keys?
    That is impossible to do in the markup, Rizz. The matter of the positioning of navigation is something I'd rather decide based on design+usability- however, the placement in the markup (which is how text and audio browsers will see it) is something I hope to be fact; should it be before or after content?

  5. #5
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    I personally place the links after the content. That way, the user agent doesn't have to go through the nav for each page. If you're designing with full CSS, usually it doesn't make that big and impact, either.

  6. #6
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    All right, I'm getting a unanimous "navigation after the content" (with a skip to nav link, of course) vote, so I think that matter's settled. Now, another somewhat related matter: for a list of links to other sources (peer, general, in site...) would it be more semantic to use a definition list with the term being (for example) "Peer linkage", and then the data being a list of the aforementioned linkage, or should each link be its own data? Lavalamp suggested the former, and I'm not sure if his suggestion is valid, which is why I ask.

  7. #7
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    I'm not sure I follow. Could you post a mock up what you're talking about?

  8. #8
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    Sure.
    Code:
      <dl id="links">
       <dt>Peer pressure- I mean, blogs</dt>
         <dd>
           <ul>
    	  <li><a href="http://www.quiterude.com/">David Harrison</a></li>
    	  <li><a href="http://www.skinneralamod.com/">Ben Kaye-Skinner</a></li>
    	  <li><a href="http://www.cmmwebdesign.com/blog/">Jonathan Fennochi</a></li>
    	  <li><a href="http://www.complexfellow.com/">Conor Hastings</a></li>
    	  <li><a href="http://www.neczy.com/">Martin Neczypor</a></li>
    	  <li><a href="http://ths.thenamesdan.com/">James Kahlin</a></li>
           </ul>
         </dd>
    ...
      </dl>
    Last edited by Ben Rogers; 11-26-2004 at 10:59 PM.

  9. #9
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    You mean for your different nav? Why not Header and List. If you think about it, technically all your header and content could be considered a definition list. But that's getting too much into it. Nav list is an unordered list of links. You can break up this list with headers into different sections. I think <h2></h2><ul> </ul> is better than a definition list.

  10. #10
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    Yes, <dl> could be used the same way as headers and paragraphs, but since the navigation is all part of one it seems more appropriate to use a <dl>- you don't agree?.

  11. #11
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    my answer works if you don't have long content.


    and hooray for me for being the only one on the list without a name
    "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside a dog, it is too dark to read." - Mark Twain

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by rhsunderground
    my answer works if you don't have long content.

    and hooray for me for being the only one on the list without a name
    No, no it doesn't.

    No, boo for you.

  13. #13
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    Think about it. Is it really a description of your term? It's a group, or section of links. An unordered group of links, which could be labeled with a header. I don't really think of it as a list of definitions. The focus is on the linkage, being described by the header, not the header being described by the linkage.

  14. #14
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    Headers and definition lists can technically be used the same way- and as this is a list of link topics, each holding a list of links, I think a <dl> is more appropriate than a header scheme. Also, I realize an indented list would make more sense than lists inside a definition list, but it's the same thing- you can use them the same way, if you want.

  15. #15
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    Coincidentally, I found an item on SimpleBits about this topic the other day... http://www.simplebits.com/bits/simplequiz/#entry550
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