Global navigation not worthwhile?

How much stock do we put in global navigation and could those resources be better spent elsewhere? Quite possibly according to Jared Spool at

Maybe they’ll click on the global navigation on the home page (however, probably not, if the page is well designed). Then they’ll never click on it again, because, after all, they are now looking for local information - not global information

We’ve observed that it’s almost always the case that if a user is clicking on global navigation, it’s because they are completely lost.

Having global navigation isn’t a bad thing. It’s just not something that should garner a lot of resources, as it’s unlikely to be important in the user experience.

Here’s something interesting to think about. How much of a role does the global navigation play in orientating first time users to the site before they get to the local content? Isn’t that a useful thing and worth spending time on? As a friend said to me last night: “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”.

And I wonder does this differ between the web as software interface and the web as hypertext system? Look at flickr’s use of global navigation - the frequented destinations at the top and the big-fat-footer (I just made that up) - both of which I know I use a lot.

I’d ponder more, but I’m on holiday in 2 hours. Woo!

Hat tip: