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Mandolin Cafe Blog

New Mandolin Cafe Navigation Scheme

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You may have noticed, long overdue in our opinion, we've altered the main navigation structure at the top of every page for the entire site.

At one point we had nine navigational items across the top of every page. Ouch. Link overload from every usability study we've read. Our bad. And that was before we removed the "Home" link.

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Hint: click the big Mandolin Cafe logo at the top of any page to get to the home page from any single page on the Cafe. This works on almost any web site.

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First: the Classifieds and Forum links remain where they are, unchanged.

News has moved under the new Community tab. News is a prominent feature of what we're about but we feel we provide adequate avenues on the web to articles, enough that it can be a sub-menu item. Social Groups, Events Calendar and Member Blogs have also moved off of the main and sub Forum menus under this tab. A lot less clutter.

Builders link still points to the builder database but also a sub-menu item to Eye Candy. Support of the builder community remains an vital part of our mission.

The new Learn/Listen link contains valued resources previously were only available on the home page (Chord Library, Tablature Library, TablEdit) and MP3 and Workshops are off the main menu under this category. Also this area, links to our Lessons and Mandolin Cafe On Demand. All of these categories remain unchanged in importance and will be vigorously updated and promoted as always.

We know users don't like change but felt this was badly needed. Less clutter, more immediate availability of our most important resources to a wider audience on every page on the site.

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Updated Sep-02-2015 at 8:47am by Scott Tichenor

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Comments

  1. Ron McMillan's Avatar
    A worthwhile change that cleans up navigation rather well.
  2. lklose's Avatar
    This is a real improvement but what I'd really like to see is live links (like the one on the home page that got me here) that open in a new tab, instead of leaving the MC home page. This would be particularly helpful when the link is to a page outside the MC domain.

    Larry
  3. Scott Tichenor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by lklose
    This is a real improvement but what I'd really like to see is live links (like the one on the home page that got me here) that open in a new tab, instead of leaving the MC home page. This would be particularly helpful when the link is to a page outside the MC domain.

    Larry
    That's one of those link behavioral decisions that has to be made one way or the other. In this history of this site we've never created links that spawn a new tab, and I'm of the opinion it's more of a negative for the majority of the visitors vs. a positive.

    That said there are two very simple tricks you can employ to open a link in a new tab on PC or Apple laptops or desktops.

    PC:

    1) hold down your Ctrl key while clicking the link. That forces a browser to open the link in a new tab. While I've certainly not tried this in every browser it has always worked equally well in IE, FireFox and Chrome.

    2) On a PC, right click the link and select Open Link in a New Tab.

    Apple

    1) holding down the Apple Command key while clicking the link opens it in a new tab.

    2) hold down the 'control' key while clicking the link and that will provide a menu of options, the first of which is Open Link in New Tab.
  4. journeybear's Avatar
    I thought it looked a little different! Nice going! Neatness counts.

    Interesting to see a separate link for PMs. Convenient.

    Just one thing - I no longer see the link under Community to Member List.
  5. Scott Tichenor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear
    I thought it looked a little different! Nice going! Neatness counts.

    Interesting to see a separate link for PMs. Convenient.

    Just one thing - I no longer see the link under Community to Member List.
    The intent of the change isn't to relocate every single link, and some of them have little or no use according to the stats. Having the Member List on every page on the site wouldn't serve much use to those people that only visit the Classifieds and Home Page for example.

    Before making these changes I looked at traffic. Member List gets just over 15 visits a day putting it behind dozens of other pages that visitors frequent. Still, I don't see a problem with having it somewhere convenient only on the Forum since that's really the only place where it matters. I've decided the place for it is in the footer since there's plenty of room there on the Forum only and the link can now be found there on every subsequent Forum page.
  6. lflngpicker's Avatar
    Scott, I appreciate the clear and informative summary of the changes. Thanks!
  7. Russ Donahue's Avatar
    Very clean and inviting looking. Going through this where I work now and it is a bear to achieve a visual goal while also improving legibility and navigation. Well done. I hope we can be as successful.
  8. journeybear's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Tichenor
    I've decided the place for it is in the footer since there's plenty of room there on the Forum only and the link can now be found there on every subsequent Forum page.
    Whoops! There it is! I didn't see the link at the top of the page, so I wondered where it was, but I appreciate the explanation. Thanks!
  9. Rob Beck's Avatar
    I am seeing some strange rendering of the menus when I click on the "Classifieds" link when using Google's Chrome browser. Can't seem to attach an image to show you what I mean - sorry.
  10. Scott Tichenor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Beck
    I am seeing some strange rendering of the menus when I click on the "Classifieds" link when using Google's Chrome browser. Can't seem to attach an image to show you what I mean - sorry.
    Trying holding down your shift key while hitting refresh in the browser. That's called a forced reload. If some of the documents that render the page don't load correctly a lot of unintended things can occur. Once your browser caches that information should be OK.
  11. Rob Beck's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Tichenor
    Trying holding down your shift key while hitting refresh in the browser. That's called a forced reload. If some of the documents that render the page don't load correctly a lot of unintended things can occur. Once your browser caches that information should be OK.
    Thanks for the update, however, it's still the same unfortunately. I tried Ctrl-F5 as well, which I believe serves the same purpose. Perhaps it's only affecting me. - Update: It's working now I think I may have had more than one browser instance open.
  12. Mandophile's Avatar
    Thanks for providing the chat blog and everyone's comments were informative! I like the new menu.
    Just an unrelated question. When I'm on the iPhone, is there a way to get a reader friendly version?
  13. Scott Tichenor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mandophile
    Thanks for providing the chat blog and everyone's comments were informative! I like the new menu.
    Just an unrelated question. When I'm on the iPhone, is there a way to get a reader friendly version?
    When you're looking at anything under the Forum you should be viewing in a mobile friendly style. If you aren't and you're seeing the regular desktop version of the site, scroll down to the very bottom left side of the page on your phone and select "Default Mobile Style."