A menu (a.k.a. navigation panel) is a group of hyperlinks. Usually they lead to different sections of a website. The main task of a menu is to group various links and to allow users to evaluate the sections available in one place.
Generally, all menus can be divided into the following types:
- menu bar - a horizontal or vertical line with the names of the main sections of a website
- drop-down menu - a menu that is invisible until a user points or clicks on one of the options in the menu bar
- mega-menu - a type of drop-down menu with many sections and sometimes also illustrations
- separate page menu - a menu that is located on a separate page
- dynamic filter - a list of parameters that can be customized and combines to search for a specific product/service/information
Advantages and disadvantages
Each menu has its pros and cons, which are mainly related to the amount information each type of menus can include. Thus, for example, a menu bar is the most simple and available menu type, but it is difficult to include any more than 10 - 20 characters of information. A drop-down and mega-menu are able to include much more, but their available space is also limited. A separate page menu can include almost unlimited amount of information, but it may mislead and discourage users who expect to see a new section, not another menu to choose from. A dynamic filter allows grouping and using a number of parameters, but requires users to have some skill in working with such a navigation.
You will find more information about types of menus, their appearance, advantages and disadvantages in the F.A.Q. section about website structure.
Depending on its type a menu can carry a variety of information - from section names to their descriptions and illustrations. The general feature of any good menu is that it allows users to evaluate all the choices at once. Even a separate menu page, despite it size, is developed in a way that allows an easy transition to any other section of a website. On the other hand, to wide variety of choices makes it overwhelming and makes it almost impossible to lead a user to any particular destination.