You learn a lot about “common practice” when you make websites. What people are used to, what’s acceptable and what’s not, basically what unifies the web for people. You want a user to be able to go to your site and immediately understand what certain elements mean (“oh that’s a button”). This puts constraints on the designer/developer to a point, but this can be fun as you explore ways to toe the line for what users are used to and potentially “retrain” the brain (the touch screen is a great example. We’ve had to learn that swiping to the left reveals a menu, swiping a selected element reveals a “delete” option etc).
That said, navigation is one of the primary standards you don’t mess with too much. But then I came across this site - Visual Republic. Beautiful, clean, one page design with a beautiful showcase of typography and colors. And…. what’s that? A navigation panel on the RIGHT side?
But there it is in all it’s glory. It functions the same way as a left-sided navigation panel except that it’s on the right. Therefore users understand how to work with it, and it successfully draws the eye so users aren’t looking for it very long (it even hesitates to scroll with you right away which draws your attention to it as it catches up). Quite brilliant and beautiful to say the least. They toed the line successfully and I may have to take a page out of their book the next time I’m doing a website.
Success level: 11