Navigation with 2nd level external links vs Hub Page

Hi all, me again with another Q to pick your juicy UX brains
I just had a meeting regarding some solutions to a navigation item.

We have a 1st level navigation item called “Partners” with a dropdown showing 4x 2nd level items (find a partner, verified partners etc) - I brought up the fact that only one of those 2nd level items are actually housed in the website while the others link externally.
These links are still my client’s even though they link externally (because they on parts of the ecosystem still not migrated to the latest design refresh).

My intuition (no testing done yet) tells me that it would be a better solution to link “Partners” to it’s own hub page withs sections that then provide users with some information and context before clicking away to external pages.

  1. how can I observe that the current navigation model is not ideal - heat maps and session videos don’t show anything for navigation)
  2. What would be some good ways to test if this is more of an intuitive experience to bring everything into a Hub page?

im not a fan of external links in the global nav. It’s frustrating and unexpected for the user, especially if the design is different. You want to keep users on your site right and track them, not send them away. If they were on the wrong site and should have been on the partners site instead, then that could point to a different/larger problem?

the hub page with more blurb on the other site is a good idea IMO

1 Like

Thanks @lykc I also intuitively believe it’s a better and pleasurable experience compared to external links in 1st level nav. How would I go about proving this? Client was saying let’s A/B test, I can’t really A/B test because they are completely different options with no similar trait to compare. What other ways can I determine users are happy with the Hub layout?

I completely agree with Leo. Let’s get some input from the @Researchers as to how you could prove it.