Left-column Navigation Menu

In the current website design, the left-column navigation menu for the entire site is contained in a single XML file. The file can only be updated by a website administrator, so any changes you want to make must be submitted to webmaster@uwstout.edu.

There are rules about what will go in the left navigation. Some of these are based on how the system operates, and some on best practices determined through usability studies. Following are some primary rules to follow when determining what to include in your left navigation. Additional tabs provide further illustration of these rules.

Note: This is an example of the Two-column Text custom element which allows you to have two columns of different widths on a page. It's especially useful for adding text to the Two-column Tabbed and Two-column 20-80 layouts.

Content Rules

  • No links to PDF's, Word documents or spreadsheets can be in the left menu. These should be in the right column or the content area.
  • News, highlights, feeds, links to videos, events and contact information should be located in the right column, in elements that have been styled to hold them..
  • The main menu should have eight or fewer menu items, with a maximum of ten. Secondary navigation should be ten or fewer items with a maximum of 12-14.
  • Navigation topic names need to be clear and explicit, e.g., never use "resources" or "links," but always tell the user what type of resources, like "video resources" or "links to UW System," and so on. 

Structure Rules

  • Everything in the left menu is a link to either a site or a page; plain text headings used to group items by topic cannot be used.
  • In order to have sub-navigation links, there must be a link to the subsite index page in the navigation.
  • When landing on any page in the subsite, the associated subsite navigation will be expanded in the left column.