Sticky Menus: Why They Do More Good than Harm on Your Site?

Sticky Menus: Why They Do More Good than Harm on Your Site?

Arian Azcua
Written by Arian Azcua
April 22, 2019

When it comes to user experience design, your navigation bar is one of the most critical components. And naturally so — after all, your visitors can feel lost without one.

Several studies also directly tie a bad navigation menu to a poor website experience.

But talk to optimizers about navigation bars or sticky menus… and they get touchy.

Most believe in doing away with them as they let people click away from the page they’re reading into the other areas on the website.

True.

BUT:

As with any other CRO “tactic,” the navigation bar one is also subjective, and may not always pose a conversion issue.

Why a sticky menu may not be such a bad idea (in so many cases)

So, for example, let’s say you’ve designed one of those super-long scrolling landing pages everyone has come to love.

And your CTA asks your users to make a call.

Now, would it not be a good idea to let your users see a fixed header with a large “Click to Call” button — your CTA — as they scroll down to read all the content you’ve posted?

Your big and shiny call to action button — displayed prominently inside your sticky menu right at the top of your site — becomes impossible to miss as it floats down as your users scroll down through your long-form page.

And the moment your lead decides to contact you, there they have your catchy “Call” button right in their sight. With such a focused sticky menu bar, your leads are only a click or tap away from starting a sales conversation with you.

A sticky menu in action (notice how the navigation bar is ALWAYS visible even as the user scrolls)

Sticky menus can work great for homepages as well as they can encourage your users to scroll through your entire page. In fact, there are instances of websites that saw a lot more engagement on their long-form homepages after they used replaced their regular top navigation menu with a sticky one.

eCommerce websites also love sticky menus as with sticky menus, they have the action items such as “Add to cart” always placed prominently before their users.

In short: sticky menus can be useful depending on how you use them.

Wrapping it up…

At Convert, we never suggest people to simply try or test a hack because it’s cool. In fact, we believe that you can make meaningful changes to your website only from analyzing the improvement or optimization opportunities that your data highlights.

So before you use or test a sticky menu on your website, install some of the user behaviour research CRO tools on your website and understand how your current users behave with your it. If you happen to see many user screen recordings where users have to scroll all the way back to the top to access your navigation bar, then you might want to consider using a sticky menu to improve your user experience.

You get the idea, right?

Now tell us your personal preference — how do you like a website’s navigation bar to be… Sticky or not?

See the Pen
sticky menus
by Diego Armando Catalan Tandi (@diego-catalan)
on CodePen.

Originally published April 22, 2019 - Updated April 29, 2019
Arian Azcua
Arian Azcua is the UX Whiz at Convert. He's passionated about making digital products easy to use and you can also find him wondering for new places to discover on his next venturer trip.
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