eCommerce user experience – What happens to mega drop downs on mobile?
The mega drop down menu is a great way of presenting navigation options to your customers, and improving their eCommerce user experience.
Mega drop downs allow you to:
- Present a comprehensive range of options, without relying on sub-menus, scrolling, or the user’s short term memory (as with regular drop downs)
- Organise options into relative, sub-headed sets , giving users a better idea of where they need to be
- Use icons, images, tool tips, and typography within the menu, making it more scan-friendly
For your main website, the mega drop down is a usability dream, but as far as mobile user experience goes, it isn’t a recommended form of navigation.
Why the mega drop down isn’t suited to mobile
Creating a great eCommerce user experience for your customers involves simplicity, consistency, and usability across all platforms. Unfortunately the mega drop down doesn’t fit this brief.
The key problems are as follows:
- Method of interaction – Mega drop downs use hover-over to open up the menu. With a mouse it’s easy to keep it open while selecting the option you want. Not so with the mobile’s touch screen, where it’s virtually impossible
- Screen size – The smaller screen size makes it all the more important for your customers to be presented with the key choices for navigation. As said above, hover-over simply isn’t an option for a good mobile user experience, and whereas RWD will simplify a mega drop down menu, this could well be at the expense of sub headings, hierarchical arrangement, and space – presenting all the options in a long list that breaks up the one-click menu experience, requires heavy scrolling, and relies upon short term memory for successful interaction
- Zoom – Smartphones have a zoom function to improve the eCommerce user experience for all users. Unfortunately if you are zoomed in on a page, and you activate the mega drop down menu, chances are you’ll be missing out on some of the options due to the magnification only showing part of the menu – not all your customers will be savvy enough to realise this
So when it comes to providing the best eCommerce user experience for all of your customers, remember mega drop down menus can be a nightmare for mobile usability.
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[…] have already looked at the issue of mega drop-down menus in a previous blog post so in this post I want to deal more with the challenge of […]