The foundations of good UX design lie in transparent navigation and interaction patterns and systems. A solid understanding of the rules is as important as knowing when to break them.


How should you set up menus for optimal usability? Does mobile UX design follow different rules? How can you use sound to make your website not just more appealing but also easier to navigate? These and other questions should be factored into any decisions about modern website design, because they will influence the amount and quality of repeat traffic.


  • The Elements Of Navigation
  • Sticky Menus Are Quicker To Navigate
  • Design Patterns: When Breaking The Rules Is OK
  • Exploration Of Single-Page Websites
  • You Already Know How To Use It
  • Redefining Hick’s Law
  • What Web Designers Can Learn From Video Games
  • A New Mobile UX Design Material
  • Mission Transition
  • Designing With Audio: What Is Sound Good For?

Technical Information

  • Formats: PDF, EPUB, Kindle (DRM-free)
  • Pages: 131 (in PDF)
  • Language: English
  • Released: January 2013
  • Publisher: Smashing Media GmbH
  • ISBN: 978-3-943075-56-4

Excerpt From Chapter 2

Sticky Menus Are Quicker To Navigate — by Hyrum Denney

Most designers would agree that navigation is one of the most critical components of a website. Despite this, it is not always easy to use or access. Traditionally, users must scroll back to the top of the website to access the navigation menu. I recently wondered whether sticky menus makes websites quicker to navigate, and I conducted a usability study to find the answer. Let’s look at the results of the study, a few implementation techniques and some related challenges.

Sticky, or fixed, navigation is basically a website menu that is locked into place so that it does not disappear when the user scrolls down the page; in other words, it is accessible from anywhere on the website without having to scroll. Although sticky navigation can be applied to any menu, such as the footer or social media buttons, we’ll focus on the main (or primary) navigation of a website.

Excerpt From Chapter 5

You Already Know How To Use It — by Charles Hannon

In the first television advertisement for the iPad, the narrator intoned, “It’s crazy powerful. It’s magical. You already know how to use it.” This was an astonishing claim. Here was a new, market-defining, revolutionary device, unlike anything we had seen before, and we already knew how to use it. And yet, for the most part, the claim was true. How does a company like Apple make such great new things that people already know how to use?

One answer lies in the ability of Apple designers to draw upon patterns that people are familiar with. The interaction medium might be completely new: before the iPhone, few people had used a multitouch screen. But everyone knew how to pinch or stretch something, and this interaction pattern was easily transferrable to the small screen after seeing it done just once. As Alan Cooper writes in About Face, “All idioms must be learned; good idioms need to be learned only once.

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