New navigation bar being tested/introduced.

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We're currently in the process of updating the navigation bar found at the top of pages on IMDb.com in order easier access to more data on IMDb.

As part of this redesign, we've pruned the number of top level categories from seven to four. Movies and TV information are now in the same section, with a Top 250 title image that changes daily. The Celebs, Events and Photos section provides opportunities to browse through our most current image galleries curated by IMDb editors and this section also provides links to movie and TV awards and red carpet events. Our News and Community section is the place to to access news, message boards, our contributor's section as well as our quiz game and daily polls.

This is currently being tested and not all users will see it initially (a preview image can be found below if you want to see what it looks like). We are slowly ramping up the percentage of people who will see the new navigation bar. If you see it in the coming days, please poke around and give us your feedback. Thanks!

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Giancarlo Cairella, Official Rep

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Posted 6 years ago

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cartman_1337

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Haven't gotten it myself yet, but based on the preview image I'll give you my feedback right away; DON'T, please DON'T do this! The new buttons span two lines, and makes the site header take MORE space than it does now. Removing three of seven categories you'd think it should take LESS space, but no. The header is already big enough, it shouldn't be made even larger!

The random Top 250 image is a somewhat cool but rather useless feature, and it will make the site heavier/slower to use on slow connections.

To me both of these decisions seem like bad design decisions overall. I have a fast connection myself, so the Top 250 image won't affect me much, but at least fix the spanning issue so that the new buttons don't span two lines!
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Emperor, Champion

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Yep I'm with Cartman here - the takes up almost a third again more space and also produces a more complicated set of buttons that are much more difficult to skim (as they are now broken over a couple of lines). I can't really see those changes making the navigation easier and can't really imagine what extra benefits it brings.

It isn't a disaster, but seems like a rather a waste of time and effort, and almost guaranteed to show up on web design and usability blogs as an example of how meddling with a functional design can degrade the user experience.

However, I'll properly reserve my judgment until I can get a go on it when it is rolled out to me.
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Emperor, Champion

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Right it has appeared for me and my comments above apply - I do wonder if it can be slimmed down as I don't think the double line is necessary:

Movies & TV - Showtimes is implicit surely (as is the fact that you cover video and charts under there).

Celebs & Events - again the Photos is implicit.

News and Community - seems like two things jammed together, why not just make it News? Or split Film News and Celeb News between the two previous sections?

Also do we need the Watchlist button there? As you've split off Your Lists and their ilk to the drop down below my name (which I like), could you not include the Watchlist there? You could even do it like the other panels and have it go wider to the left and include the latest 2 or 3 from my Watchlist. This might be controversial as there seems to be a desire to keep it front and centre on each page but having it under your name doesn't seem much hassle, I don't know about anyone else but I don't really need such instant access to my Watchlist - my main interactions with it come from title pages and, in fact, I very rarely even use that button, again I'll click across from a title page like I would with any other list (granted I also use Your Lists quite a bit too).
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Kris, Employee

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Thanks for your feedback. One of the reasons for making the header area taller was to increase the tap target of the navigation area particularly for tablet users. The previous nav bar was densely packed and while it kept more items above the fold, it also increased the potential for accidental clicks/taps.

You've got some great suggestions about categorizations. We'll be testing these categories closely and modifying items as we see fit.

Finally, we wanted to keep the Watchlist front and center as we have done on the previous nav bar. This seems to be something that is used regularly by a significant amount of IMDb users.

Again, thanks for the feedback. We're always looking for ways to make IMDb better and we value immensely your feedback and suggestions!
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Emperor, Champion

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Kris, thanks for the reply - I hadn't factored in people viewing it through tablets (presumably through browsers, not the app), which clearly brings a lot of other design concerns.

Is it possible to detect this and server up a slightly altered page, with bigger targets and the like? It'd clearly be easy enough to spot Android users (who will be using portable devices) but Windows 8 and Apple is trickier. I bet there are some tricks that can be used, as someone will have devised solutions to this problem. There should be no need to have a one-size-fits-all design for computers and tablets.
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Emperor, Champion

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Oh and it might be worth making the IMDB Pro button clickable - at the moment you mouseover it and then have to bring the cursor across diagonally to actually get to the link. It makes it more hassle to get to it, which is never a good idea if you want clicks on that link.
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Emperor, Champion

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Ah I see that you can click anywhere on the panel that opens up, not just the bit that invites you to click, although I still think making the button clickable would help.
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Well spotted thanks, we have passed this feedback to the design team.
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gromit82, Champion

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I just want to say that I prefer the older design and agree with the others here who have criticized the new design. See https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi... for my comments there.
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Emperor, Champion

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I like the drop down from your name with quick links to your relevant pages - would it be possible to add the "your data" link to it, as you'd usually have to go through the Contributor Zone and then scroll down to find the link, which might not be obvious to everyone.
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Kris, Employee

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Thanks for the suggestion. This will definitely go in the queue for consideration.
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Travis

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I agree, need faster access to this commonly visited page.
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Peter, Champion

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You could consider adding a link to the Advanced Search page somewhere; it seems well hidden currently in the search box dropdown. Perhaps under Charts & Trends, where it might be more useful than the current link to Oscar Winners.
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Peter, Champion

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I'm wondering why the links to birthdays in the navigation bar and on the front page lead to an advanced search on this form:

http://www.imdb.com/search/name?birth...

while the Site Index leads to this "On This Day" page:

http://www.imdb.com/date

The design of the latter seems neat, although it appears that the list of names is different from the one in the first link.
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cartman_1337

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The new drop down menus are extremely irritating, and makes navigation a lot more time consuming than before. For instance, one of my most used links on the old menu was "Community", and if you simply clicked on the column named Community you were taken directly to the message boards, which is exactly where I wanted to go. Now I have to hover the mouse over "News & Community", wait for the drop-down to appear, then look for the Community column, which is not clickable, by the way, and then look for Message Boards. A one click action is turned into an action that takes several seconds. In addition the fact that the menu pops up every time the mouse hovers over it, make the menus often pop up inadvertently. I can't count how many times the Watchlist menu has popped up on my screen, even though I never use that feature. But the menu button is placed in a place the mouse often hovers over, especially when changing pages after a search or similar.

I refuse to believe the new format is any more user friendly for tablets or smart phones either, and I've read reports of people having trouble clicking the search field because the phone draws to the menus and refuses to focus on the search field. And in any case, programming a special menu for those platforms should be done in the mobile version of the site (m.imdb.com). The full version of the site shouldn't need to take steps to accommodate those platforms. Besides, does it really help navigation on those platforms at all? Instead of one hard to click column before, you now have to first click the column, then attempt to click the correct small (on a mobile screen) link from there. If the tablets and mobile apps are the reason for this change, as you've claimed, I want to see reports of it actually helping, with less miss-hits now than before!
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Emperor, Champion

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There is also a discussion here about how annoying the drop down menus are because they appear when the user moves their cursor to the search bar:

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...

I don't seem to have this problem in FF (but I do have hundreds of tabs open, so might have slowed my browser just enough), but if staff can replicate this then it'd be an idea to add a 0.5-1 second delay.
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Emperor, Champion

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Can we get the link to the top level of the lists section back?

http://www.imdb.com/lists/

It'll fit neatly under the News & Community section.

Flagged up here:

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...
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Emperor, Champion

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Can we get the links to top TV and top movies back, instead of one general popular TV and movies link?

This has come up a few times

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...

The problem is that advanced search results have either no filtering options (like the current link) or rather poor ones, and none have a link back to advanced search so people can sort this out themselves. This is in contrast to the options you have with the lists, which would be great to see on advanced search:

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...

Basically: the current menu link takes you to a dead end, with no way to filter by title type without hacking the URL, which is real problem on the usability front and is clearly causing a lot of frustration and confusion.
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Squidge

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TOTALLY agree. There is no option to see most popular movies by year. Only popular movies & TV by year. What if we're only interested in movies, not TV shows??
This option would be super handy, as many users such as myself enjoy scrolling back through individual years looking for good films... seems silly to have no option to filter out TV shows.
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bjk1961

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I'm experiencing unwanted opening of the menu items as I move from the search bar to the results. It's so annoying and distracting. Could you switch the location of the links and the search bar? That would eleminate the "mousing over" problem completely.
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Brent at IMDb, Employee

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Thanks for the report, bjk1961. We are definitely looking at this.
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Emperor, Champion

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There is more information/discussion here if needed:

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...
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Travis

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I wish my username still linked to my Profile page (as in the old menubar). Now I have to hover over my name, then go down to click the "Your Profile" link. If usernames still worked, then the separate link could possibly be eliminated.
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Kevn57

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I agree, I'd like that as well.
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Kris, Employee

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Thanks for the feedback. We will take this into consideration.
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Emperor, Champion

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As well as my suggestion to add in a "Your Contributions" link to the drop down from your name, could we also get a link for "Your Check-ins"?
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GlennME

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Here's a link to a discussion about a problem with the IMDb Top 250 link in the Watchlist dropdown menu.

https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topi...

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