Mobile Navigation Toggle

Responsive design is the latest hot trend in web design and it will remain in buzz for next few years. Meaning of responsive web design is a single code base with breakpoints and CSS media queries to adapt the layout to the viewing environment. As we know there are so many types of screen sizes such as desktop, laptop, tablet and phone and that responsive design seems to be the perfect solution and it allows you to create a website that adapts to different screen resolutions according to device in use. You want to give your readers direct access to all your important links, without flooding the page making it unreadable.

 

mobile navigation toggle

 

It is also a good idea to keep your responsive navigation hidden away until it’s needed. In the toggle approach the menu slides open right in the header. It’s a good-looking approach and is relatively easy to implement.

If we start coding with a little forethought and apply the principles of progressive enhancement from the beginning and apply some responsive practices at the end, we can easily accommodate for less-capable browsers and reward those with modern browsers in both desktop and mobile environments. What to analyze:

  • At mobile sizes, the navigation should display as a drop down menu.
  • When the user taps the dropdown, the links should slide open.
  • At tablet sizes and up, the navigation should display as a horizontal bar.

If the website has many sections or pages, it gets challenging to squeeze all the items into a small mobile resolution.

Solutions

1)      Dropdown

2)      Display as Block

3)      Menu Icon

Audience Target device sizes:

  1. Smart phones with a minimum device width of 320 pixels and a maximum device width of 480 pixels. This covers pretty much all smart phones out there.
  2. Small tablet and mobile devices with a resolution between 481 and 767 pixels. This includes the 4+ inch phones and the small 7-inch tablets.
  3. IPad specific style sheet, with a minimum device width of 768 and maximum of 1024, which defines rules that apply to both portrait and landscape orientations.
  4. General desktop devices and larger size devices.

 

Pros & cons of Toggle Navigation

Pros

  • Keeps the user in place
  • Elegancy
  • Easy to scale up

Cons

  • Animation performance
  • Dependency on JavaScript

Many sites, even responsive ones, stick to the general convention that navigation belongs at the top of any given page. This approach can cause usability problems on mobile devices because mobile users are often short of two things: screen space and time. We can place a simple menu button at the top. Click it and it expands to reveal the menu tabs.

 

mobile_navigation_iphone

 

Toggling navigation is good idea for mobile websites. As the space is less so you should focus on your content. Keep in mind that the design must scale across a wide range of screen sizes from mobile to tablet to desktop; and the code must start with a mobile-first approach, work well for screen readers or with JavaScript disabled, and be robust enough to adapt to differences in text size and rendering across devices or user settings.

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Written by Sourabh Bhunje

Sourabh Bhunje, B.E. IT from Pune University. Currently Working at Techliebe. Professional Skills: Programming - Software & Mobile, Web & Graphic Design, Localization, Content Writing, Sub-Titling etc. http://techliebe.com/about-us

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