BuddyPress vs. Elgg: (Top) Navigation

This is just a short write-up on the top, gray navigation you see in both BuddyPress and Elgg. What I disklike about both is that they span 100% in width, but that’s just a quick css edit. I like the idea of the mini-avatar in Elgg and a button to link back to the homepage, which is something that I believe was carried over to BP. What I’m not the biggest fan of are the dropdown menus. On Elgg, you have this really ugly carrot sprite pointing downward to signal that it’s a dropdown menu, even though you would’ve found that out simply by hovering over it — again, this is an easy css fix. What I disklike about the dropdown nav in BuddyPress is that it flickers a lot on the hover state. I have no idea why. BP’s random visit links are also a nice change of pace from Elgg, but that doesn’t mean it makes it any better. In general, I don’t think one is better than the other. BP is very similar to Elgg in that regard just a bit more advanced with a second tier of dropdown menus and the added random visit links. If there was an option to have the dreaded menu slide up/down by hovering near/away from it, it’d place more emphasis on the content and would make the member’s account look a bit cleaner, IMHO.

Score:
Draw

Update: Flickering seems to have disappeared now. Also noticed the rounded corners on the bottom of each dropdown… not too shabby.

1 Comment

  • Guy Incognito says:

    The problem with Elgg is that all of your site navigation is hidden in the Tools menu. In BP… you have a nice global navigation for site wide resources (groups, blogs, members, etc.). And in your profile, you have a really nice side navigation for just YOUR resources (groups, blogs, friends, etc.). This is so much nicer and easier to use than having to keep going to the “Tools” menu in Elgg. Drop downs are horrible usability. They’re fine for admin type menus and supplemental navigation… but they should not be the only way to navigate your website.

    For example… to view all of the groups on a site in Elgg, you have to go to “Tools” to reveal the drop down… then mouse down to “Groups”… click… wait for the page to load… then click “All Site Groups”. To do the same thing in BP… just click Groups. Done. So much better.

    You could build your own custom menus for Elgg… but you’re getting into a lot of re-jigging that should not be necessary. It should be built with usability in mind right from the get go. The user should come first. So much Open Source stuff (Joomla comes to mind) starts the other way around. It’s all about programming and thinking of the most complicated system possible with every possible configuration option under the sun… user be damned.

    Here’s my tip of the day… and yes… I’m being a little flip… but hopefully you will get the point… “choice is bad”. Do it the right way and you don’t need a million options. Apple understands this. WordPress understands this.

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