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What is best practice when it comes to menus? In other words, should the topmost menu items always b

What is best practice when it comes to menus? In other words, should the topmost menu items always be clickable or is it okay for them to be static section dividers? For example, if you had something like this:
Company
About Us
Our Process
Our Team Should clicking Company go to a live page or can it be a dummy section divider? I’ve seen it done both ways and have even seen website designers mix the two, which can be a little confusing. I’m curious to see what the experts think? 🙂



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3 Comments
  1. PK says

    Those are called split buttons and and it’s best not to.

    Have a read here. https://www.nngroup.com/articles/split-buttons-navigation/

  2. David says

    Personally I find the content needed for the top parent page is nothing more than than the elements of the drop down menu. Therefore my preference is always to make the parent a non clickable element that just shows the sub menu which are all clickable (unless there is a sub sub which would also not be clickable).

    So I would do:

    About Us (hover only)
    Our Story (clickable)
    Our Team (clickable)
    etc ….

    To accommodate this I always go the extra mile and make sure I change the cursor on the hover only element using CSS to keep it as a pointer so as not to give a hint to the user that it’s clickable.

    Just my take on it. May not be best practice but it works for me.

  3. Hakira says

    that depends on your site arch

    For example, it can be just a place holder for a dropdown menu, and not containing a link, and that’s okay, because some people forget that, in desktop, if you have an hover action, on mobile it will act on touch

    If you on desktop hover

    Menu item
    —submenu item
    —submenu item
    —submenu item

    on mobile if you tap Menu item, will open that submenu as if you would be doing an hover on computer

    now, the situation changes if eventually that Menu item holds a link as well.. (this last is not a good practice)
    and a split button also not, where the Menu item holds a link and an icon arrow down holds the submenu

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