Navbars: Why Drill-Down Menus are Harmful

Kristoffer Bohmann says drill-down menus are harmful and that the ideal way to navigate a website is to point on a link and click. The menu on Cell Network, the example that Bohmann cites, is different from what most people are probably used to and probably makes interaction with the site harder at the onset. And of course, the navigation system only offers a high-level view of the site's content, and thus makes it difficult to get an idea of the corpus of available material (an overview). It was not very difficult for me to intuit that the section titles were links, but certainly the menus are not quite as obvious as the omnipresent dhtml drop down menus that appear on sites like FastCompany (easily achieved using code libraries like webreference's hiermenus). Maybe harmful, but certainly not fatal.

    Drill-down menus make interaction more difficult, destroy the user's overview, and poor wording make users give up using the site. ... User interaction is harder compared to the standard point and click-method. Getting a view of options provided by the entire site is tough. Users leave the site if they don't understand the 2-3 words in section titles.
Personally, I like innovative approaches at design and am not turned off by interfaces which ask users to learn and experiment a little bit. I guess the real question for this company is, "does the navigation drive users away?". It would be wise for this company to do log analysis pre and post this design -- assuming that this was a redesign of an earlier version. thanks LucDesk