Healing the left-right navigation bar rift

Over on UIE Brain Sparks, Jared Spool weighs in on the civil war over whether web navigation bars should be on the left or right side of the page:

having tested a ton of users on bundles of sites, we’ve learned over the years that navigation placement doesn’t matter one whit. Put the navigation practically anywhere on the page and users will find it when they need it.

While I suspect Jared’s right (and his folks certainly have the experience to back him up), it won’t do anything to quell the partisans.

Here’s what I propose: run the nav bar down the centre of your page. Have it take up 70, 80% of the page width. Run the content down either side of the nav bar. I guarantee they’ll find your menu.

True, if you want the page to look remotely balanced, you’ll need to either bump the size of the nav bar type way up (a victory for the elderly, for mobile device users and for the visually impaired) or have one hell of a lot of links in your nav bar (which would encourage you to create more content, which Google loves, so your pagerank will rise).

It’s win-win, people.

Someone else go first, though.


Update: Apparently it didn’t go without saying: I’m kidding.

Whaddaya think?