Tag Archives: nielson norman group

The MegaMenu From Hell – User Experience (UX) Epic Fail #2

When you’ve been part of digital marketing teams for a long time you see some dumb stuff. Large companies with middle managers who think they are experts on everything. I’ve worked with some experts, and ma’am, you are not an expert.

In this epic failure in user experience, we see a company that paid for a well-respected vendor in the design and ux space, as well as a junior UI designer with a degree in graphic illustration. Despite obvious metrics and hotjar heatmaps showing incoming visitors were cycling in the bad megamenu design, the middle manager, and owner of the project, repeatedly dismissed internal team efforts to fix or kill these worst-practice megamenus.

Nielson Norman Group has a great article on Megamenus for Site Navigation, which was shared with the brash manager. Neither the metrics nor the supporting “best practices” data had any impact.

The problem is, even with experts on the team, all of them were YES MEN. Rather than upset the dark prince, they also ignored the incoming data. I guess that allows everyone to keep their job, the middle manager to keep his pride, and the site visitors to keep their obfuscated path to success. It does give more time on site and more interactions, as users open the terrible megamenus again and again, completely missing a second tier of the megamenu (the main failure) that contained the other 50% of the links they might have been looking for. This issue was announced and defined months before the launch of the website, as team members and stakeholder review staff could not locate the pages they wanted to validate.

I present the really bad megamenu UX failure.

megamenu epix UX fail #2

ref: Mega Menus Work Well for Site Navigation – Nielson Norman Group (the examples show the good and bad, clearly defining why the above illustration is bad.)

As digital marketing consultants for some of the largest brands in tech, we’re invested in not letting this failure happen on your site. Our next UX failure turns inside to AINO Agile In Name Only project management, which kept a middle manager happy, but provided zero agility.

See: Site Search Dumbed Down – User Experience (UX)

John McElhenney