ia play

the good life in a digital age

putting special stuff in global navigation

Last year I was grumbling about why global navigation isn’t a good promotional tool and how people aren’t *generally* just wandering around the internet going “ooh, what’s that? I have no idea, why don’t I click it and see”.

And then I went to Food52, saw Piglet in their navigation and just had to click on it.

So now I feel I need to justify why this boxed pink piglet is different to all the stupid things I’ve ever had to argue against sticking in the global nav for ‘marketing’ reasons.


I wouldn’t base your navigation designs around my propensity to click on things that imply piglets. Although that does allude to a possible route to success with marketing via navigation. Some words are sufficiently attractive to enough people that sticking them in the navigation will always be successful e.g. “cute kittens” or “pretty women”. If the content you are marketing is said kittens or women then please do carry on.

Other reasons why this works ok:

  • The basic navigation is pretty sensible
  • The piglet is visually different
  • It’s a single item
  • It isn’t in the middle of the other items

(also worth noting that whilst I remember that Piglet did not lead to the piglets I was expecting, I can’t for the life of me remember what it actually does go to)

The BBC is also doing this at the moment for the Olympics but I’m not quite as taken with the approach. The rings do give a bit of visual difference but not enough.  The design was tight on space already so this feels a bit squeezed in.

And I wonder about the need here, especially this early.


Now Radiotimes used to be my favourite example of doing this. I mean, their navigation was always seriously focused. Home, TV, Film, Radio. That’s it! Plus one promotional slot, styled different for a single marketing priority. The discipline involved in getting to such a short navigation and then not stuffing it with other stuff just because there was space is impressive. And then deciding that you’ll pick one and only one priority at a time, also impressive.





Well, I say single. A little part of my inner IA died the day I saw this.

But I accepted it. It is reasonable. It’s two really important shows and they probably don’t want to pick sides.


And then they did this. Live events??? That’s not a big show, it’s not something loads of people are coming to site looking for right at this minute…that’s a vaguely named marketing initiative, probably ‘of strategic importance to the organisation’.



So piglets, yes. This, no.


Written by Karen

April 16th, 2012 at 6:04 am

Posted in navigation