Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 34.204.173.36

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & goodroi

Message Too Old, No Replies

What should modern website use: Sidebars, Breadcrumb, Related-content?

     
5:43 am on May 28, 2018 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

5+ Year Member

joined:June 10, 2011
posts: 537
votes: 0


Hi Webmasters,
I am sure this question raised more than once to any of us.
What to include in order to increase user engagement?
1. Sidebars 2. Breadcrumb 3. Related-content

Sidebars, for instance, in responsive design slide down the page.
New designs skip sidebars altogether or just present the minimum widget necessary trying to let the reader focus on the content itself rather than distracting with other "goods".
As the web evolves we see that - less is more.

UI, user experience, is one of the most important factors that count on a website.
We also know that Bounce Rate and Time on Site is part of Google algorithm.

What would you include and what's significant these days: Sidebars, Breadcrumb, Related-content?
Thanks
2:35 pm on May 29, 2018 (gmt 0)

Administrator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 21, 2004
posts:3530
votes: 399


Since mobile is becoming/became the dominate screen size, I've been putting extra emphasis on embedding links, button & banners inside the content. You can get creative and repurpose stuff like using ad injectors to dynamically resize and embed individual sidebar elements into the mobile content.

I try to avoid breadcrumbs on simpler sites to save the real estate and get more content above the fold. For complex sites, you might want to consider building an app. Websites no longer hold the monopoly on connecting with your online users.

IMHO some situations have no great solution, like having to display large table data on a tiny screen. Occasionally it is more about making the less bad choice.
6:38 am on June 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

5+ Year Member

joined:June 10, 2011
posts: 537
votes: 0


Thank You
6:46 am on June 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 27, 2001
posts:1186
votes: 16


By sidebar, do you mean side navigation or the 'hamburger' link which pops out a side navigation when it is desired?
6:56 am on June 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:10570
votes: 1124


Are we talking navigation or presenting content/ads? With mobile your real estate is somewhat limited and fingers aren't that precise. Your UI should be usable,and in some respects, familiar Most times KISS (keep it simple, sir) is the best method.
7:19 am on June 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 16, 2009
posts:1087
votes: 83


I haven't abandoned sidebars, but I do make sure that they only contain secondary content e.g.
- contextual or secondary navigation
- search
- related content intros

Now that Google has officially relaxed their stance on show/hide via CSS, I use hotlinks on smaller screens to allow people to jump to this content. These links are hidden when the content is visible without scrolling.

I also have brand / banner area and main nav collapsed by default on most internal pages to save space, with a 'tap to see navigation' link. I retain breadcrumb (as a useful link to home page where I DO NOT collapse brand area) but then I don't work on sites with lots of sub-folders.

It's actually lots of fun building or re-building a site like this as it really focuses you on the purpose of the page, and the needs of visitors, what you hope they will do etc

That said, I don't think this needs to come at the expense of providing a good experience to people on bigger screens. Mobile users were long neglected, but from the look of some sites I'd say people are now making the same mistake with desktop users. Responsive is surely about providing the best experience for the most people. Not to mention that, even when you do cater well for mobile users, desktop users seem to interact more and convert better. At least they do in my limited experience, but maybe that just means my responsive layouts suck :)
8:24 am on June 6, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 26, 2001
posts:12913
votes: 893


I design for mobile, then add right & left sidebars for desktop.

As goodroi said, the sidebars have secondary content like products and ads. The middle is all content & gets on both the desktop & mobile.

I use content links similar to Wikipedia that point to mostly in-site pages, but some are other sites which I put in a new window to keep the user connected.
8:55 pm on June 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member aristotle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 4, 2008
posts:3672
votes: 374


Some news sites turn the home page into a kind of giant table of contents packed with clickable headlines. Often there are three columns, with the headlines for the latest "breaking" news stories near the top of the page, and headlines for older stories lower down. Clicking a headline takes you to the full story.
2:32 pm on June 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

Administrator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 21, 2004
posts:3530
votes: 399


Some news sites are moving away from the giant table and moving to less stories but customized to each user. Drop a cookie and pay attention to what they click on. The bigger companies tend to own networks of sites which they can cross reference to create a personality profile. With enough data its not too difficult to see which topics/sources/slants each individual user prefers. If you feed them more of what they like, they will click more and boost your view count & ad revenue.

I suspect e-commerce (outside of the EU) is/will progress in this direction. Using big data to figure out which color schemes appeal best to the individual user or what motivates each individual user to buy (fashionable trends, special deals, brand names, etc) and then customize each user experience for maximum conversions.

This is next generation of designing - customizing your site to each user to maximize profits.
3:29 pm on June 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 1, 2016
posts:2738
votes: 837


@goodroi I agree with point of view, this was started by Amazon and Netfilx and these recommender system based approaches and sites using more and more sophisticated patterns are becoming more ubiquitous as time move on. The down side is, specially in terms of news:
If you feed them more of what they like, they will click more and boost your view count & ad revenue.

This creates series a user centric echo chamber. What will the societal impacts be if people only read the news they agree with?

More to the point:
Sidebars, are dead... well given the wide variety of devices and screen sizes it becomes more and more difficult show a "sidebar". Once one has moved the sidebar content into mix with the main content for mobile, then is there really a need to segregate it just for large screens.

The purpose of breadcrumbs is to simplify navigation. Navigation is most difficult on mobile. Mobile screens are small, so breadcrumbs are wasted space. I use other more dynamic forms of navigation, like menus that appear on scroll. Thus making bread crumbs obsolete. Now with mobile first indexing what's the point of including them on large screen only. Then factor in the first point of this post, customization, then each page is essentially unique to the user so the whole concept of breadcrumbs is no longer valid.

As for related content. Yes for sure, it is the simplest form of customization.