April 2015: Private Site Navigation

This month’s report focuses primarily on the main and secondary navigation menus that e-Monitor firms offer to authenticated clients. For this assessment, structure and consistency matter more than content.  While we note the main navigation tabs offered, we do not offer an opinion about what types of content should be available. Instead, this report takes a more technical approach, noting the navigational infrastructure firms provide to help clients use the private site. Specifically, we look at the following:

  • Navigational aids (flyout menus, sidebar subtabs, quick links and site maps)
  • Consistency in navigation and design
  • Major sections or capabilities integrated into the global site structure

We found that all e-Monitor firms offer a horizontal main navigation bar, ranging from four to eight main tabs. The competitive set was roughly split between those firms that rely on a tier of subtabs to provide secondary navigation, and those that use flyout menus. Several firms relied on a hybrid mix of both navigational structures, often using a row of subtabs to show navigation for whichever main tab the client was viewing, while relying on flyouts to achieve single-click navigation elsewhere on the site. Twelve firms offered dedicated site maps of varying depth and complexity to aid authenticated clients. Ten of these firms made their site maps easily available through a single click, often a link within their footers.

Additional key findings include:

  • Four firms offer integrated public/private navigation menus.
  • Three firms still rely on vertical, sidebar navigation menus.
  • Five firms lack consistent navigation throughout their private sites.