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No such thing as a small change

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When a user visits PM and is not logged in this is what they see above the fold on a desktop browser. For comparison lets look at a few common resolutions side by side. Notice how cramped the navigation can appear. So that got me thinking about what could be simplified about it.

I started by creating a color coded chart (The order of items and the physical layout have no meaning, it it just a chart) of the main navigation. Now the branches in black represent options that lead to/help discover content. The red branches are items that are duplicated above the fold. We already have a ‘Log In’ nodelet with those options. Furthermore when switching login states the first two items in the main navigation change. This is jarring because the main navigation of a site should not change at all when navigating around a site let alone logging in/out. Your login state should be displayed as a status item with options for action not the first action of a site navigation unless that is the most important action on your site. I do not think I am wrong in saying that the PM community is a ‘content is king’ focused group so why login before content options? This issue has been mentioned in a redesign context before.

Are there other items that should/should not be in the PM main navigation?

Edit: Added a clarifying point about the nav chart.

In reply to RFC: PerlMonks above the fold navigation by kimmel

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