Where should the navigation be?
Earlier today I wrote about the right position of the previous and next links in blog posts. I wrote that placing these links before the article seems silly to me. Albert de Klein asked me why I think that’s silly. Here’s why.
I think placing anything before an article is silly.
You might have read about the place of the logo, if it’s up to me. Here’s another one. Site wide navigation is a part of a broader collection of links, which we call the footer. We can choose to visually show this navigation at the top of a page if there’s enough room for it, but semantically it’s part of the footer and should be placed at the bottom.
I know many people dislike the menu-link, or hamburger-icon you see on small screens. I love it. I think it’s an excellent pattern that can be used on larger screens too. Technically, it’s a simple skip link. And this skip link is the only thing I think is acceptable before the actual content of a page. Think about it. Is the logo more important than the shoes I want to buy? Are links to other parts of the site more important than the article I chose to read? Really? That probably means your content is not good enough. Fix it.