Buttons or Menus or Both?


What are peoples views on buttons that are also menus. The Irish Times site below has used a drop down icon next to each nav item showing a menu, This allows users to see into a section before navigating to it. I found this very off putting when it was first launched, as accidently hovering over these, cause the story you were viewing to be hidden momentarily.

From a user point of view I had to ‘get used to’ this which is never a good idea.

Does anybody have other examples of this done better or worse. Its a real issue for high volume content sites, such as newspapers, who need to show a lot, in limited space.


It seems that those arrow icons and the actual text all do the same thing on that site.


What’s off-putting is those mega-dropdown menus; more complex than some entire web pages! Also what’s odd is the slight delay when you hover. I understand why some sites use it for rolloff, in case a user accidentally moves their cursor a few pixels outside and the menu doesn’t disappear immediately, but doing it for rollover seems strange.

For dropdown menus inside main navigation in general, I don’t know, I’ve never experienced any blowback to nix them or reconsider their use. I know there’s the issue of touch on mobile devices which makes hover behavior unexpected or outright nonexistent, but I think most people understand what purpose they serve and can deal with obstructed content. Good test case, but I haven’t encountered too many users who’ve been bothered by them obstructing content.