It is extremely important to have excellent navigation on a Web site so that visitors can easily find what they need. Not only must the navigation elements be easy-to-use, you also want them to look good on all browsers. That can be very tricky!
A solution I really liked in the past used Flash-based graphics that would pull in text/links via plain old HTML. They looked great and worked great as long as visitors had Flash enabled. When the iPad and the iPhones didn’t support Flash, that was a problem. Some visitors would also enable “ad-blockers” that actually blocked all things Flash causing the menus to not work. That led to one user complaining to me in an e-mail about not have menus when in fact he just wasn’t seeing them.
Sadly I had to give up my favorite tool because the Flash-based menus had too many incompatibilities. Then about a month ago I heard from the folks at f-source.com and they have updated their menus so they no longer use Flash and are fully HTML5 compliant!
They have a piece of new software named SWIMBI (Swift Menu Builder) to help you create menus. It can be downloaded for free and comes in both Mac and PC versions. You can even use the menu on a Web site for free, but it will have a button linking back to their site.
In order to remove the button, you have to register the domain by purchasing a plan. A single domain is currently listed at $19, 5 domains for $37, 33 domains for $75 and unlimited domains are $149. So if you just need it for your own Web site, it only costs $19. Those who design sites for others will likely want to invest in one of the other plans.
These menus are very easy to customize and implement and I’ll certainly be using more of them in my designs. If nothing else, download the free SWIMBI software and give them a try!