Evolution Of Web Site Re-Designs – (9th Feb)

For this section of my research I used a website called https://archive.org/. This helpful site allows you to look at the history of the design of any web site, from when they where first created up to the modern day. I will be conducting this piece of research to gain an understanding of the evolution of the navigational element of the website.

The website in question is Walmart, because this website has a lot of content put in place, and has to allow the user to easily navigate through the content. This piece of research will be in relation to the evolution of the navigation on the website, because this is something I need to take note of when it comes to wire framing my re-design.


WalMart Web Site


 December 3rd 2002


walmart1


Navigation


Main Navigation Bar:

The main navigation bar on the Walmart 2002 site, is basic and sits among the top of the site, along with a search bar along with options to narrow down the search.

One of the main things I love about the navigation on the page is the fact they have discarded drop down menus, which is a head of its time considering this site was made in 2002 when drop down menus where a thing.

walnav

The link tabs on the navigation bar, are big dark blue buttons that stand right out among the rest of the content on the page. This makes it easy for the user to easily see where they can navigate through the pages on the site, nice and simple. Baring in mind this is an old website, the look of the design on the navigation bar is not very appealing, and does not look professional, but this is only because of the age of the site, and the trends at the time.

Secondary Navigation Bar:
The secondary navigation bar, again is very basic down to the era the web site was created. It sits along the left hand side of the screen, even though its not visually appealing usability wise, it gives the user a secondary option to narrow down their search rather than using the search bar, which I think is very useful.

wal2ndnav


December 29th 2007


walsite2


Navigation


Main Navigation Bar:

Very similar to the main navigation bar of the previous design, including a search bar that allows you to narrow down your search, but including a sleeker design for the navigation tabs, using a few different shades of blue makes it look a lot nicer, instead of just having big dark blue tabs. This navigation bar looks a lot tidier than the design previous, but I think that this new designs usability has gotten worse, because this navigation bar includes drop down menus, which is a bad thing.

walsitenav

Drop down menus causes a lot of confusion for the user, when it comes to navigating around the content, a link should take the user directly to where they want to go, adding a drop down menu confuses this action and throws unwanted content into the users face. Not only are drop down menus confusing, they are also extremely fidgety and can be quite annoying, when trying to click on a link on the menu and then it vanishes the moment your cursor moves slightly off of the edge of the menu.

Drop down menus in the world of modern web design, on tablet and mobile devices cause even more problems, its almost impossible on a tablet or mobile to use a drop down menu.

Secondary Navigation Bar:
Again the updated Walmart site contains another secondary navigation bar to the left of the site. The links located on this secondary nav bar, are not as precise as the previous design, although it does look a lot sleaker. The fact the links are not as precise as the previous design, is good and bad. The reason its good is because its not as cluttered as the previous design, and it looks sleaker. The reason I think this newer design is bad, is because its not as precise as the previous, it has the same links as the main navigation bar, and does not give the user a secondary option to narrow down their search.
walsite2nav


Febuary 6th 2015


walmart3


Navigation


Main Navigation Bar:

The main navigation bar on todays Walmart website, is encorparated into what was the secondary navigation bar previous. I have to say I really like this re-design, you can see it in the changes this website has gone through over time, that this was going to end up the main nav bar inevitably. It has all of the characteristics of all of the navigation bars combined, including a form of drop down menu that comes out to the side when you hover over a link, but this menu that apears is actually really good.

walnav3

Each narrowed down to other products they sell that are similar, and when you hover over the link it comes up with the menu that allows the user to narrow down the search for the product they want.

walsite3drpThe new site also contains a large search bar across the top of the page, which allows for the user to quickly search for their product. In relation to the Steve Krug book, he speaks of how the search bar is like a shop assistant, and allows the user to easily narrow down there search, this is something I will be considering for my re-design.

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