Do we need the main menu buttons?

April 9, 2007

When I designed the main menu of BookMooch, I repeated all the main tasks both as tabs atop the top bar of the screen, as well as buttons in the main menu. I assume that people have gotten used to that, but I find that I never use the buttons, I always use the tabs. As I add features to bookmooch, the urge to remove those repetitive main menu buttons will increase.

What do people think? Could the main menu buttons that repeat what the tabs do be safely removed?


19 Responses to “Do we need the main menu buttons?”

  1. Jeff said

    I like having both as an option. The one tab I would like to see would be a forum tab.

    Thanks for all the hard work John.

  2. jim tee said

    Leave the buttons untill more space is needed.

    You could reduce the size or location, if

    users feel they are truly needed.

    Love the site, trying to “spread the word”.


  3. Travis Kline said

    I never use the buttons – I am so used to tabs with IE 7 and Vista now that I don’t even notice buttons anymore. More tabs would be welcome but you can get rid of buttons as far as I am concerned.

    Thanks for such a great site and keep up the good work!

  4. Brian Dorsey said

    I also never use the buttons, since the tabs are in the same place on every page, I just use them.

  5. Royall said

    I agree with Jeff, I like having the choice.

  6. Bella said

    I use the buttons but not the tabs! I usually don’t notice the tabs are there so I’d miss the buttons.
    Great site – would be great to narrow searches further i.e. search for an author/title etc in a given country/area.

  7. Debra said

    I think the buttons are redundant. I think it would be good to move the blog links, etc, that are under the member info to where the buttons are, and keep the member info on the right. And I agree about a forum tab. It should be somewhere as well. I don’t even know how to get to the forums to be honest, but I’m fairly new here, LOL.

  8. Rob said

    John – This is the best ‘Web 2.0’ (or whatever we’re calling it now) site I’ve seen in years. I am hooked on BookMooch, and am a big evangelist! Thanks for all you’re doing to make the site better. I’d be in favor of losing the buttons here, and maybe adding some of the buttons from the Your Account page, as there are so many options there, and when I was a newer user, it would often take me a while to find History, etc.

    Also (sorry for making a separate suggestion here), please consider adding a Mobile version. I get emails of available books on my blackberry, but can’t mooch them until I get back to my PC!

  9. Aurora said

    I find that I use the tabs more than the buttons. I would like to see a tab for Forum,About bookmooch and FAQ.

    Thank you for setting up an awesome website!

  10. Bridget said

    Hmm. I find I use the Inventory ‘button’ and the Wishlist and Pending Tabs. Perhaps the Buttons space could use more links, such as
    “INVENTORY> Add books by ISBN, in bulk, from a file. Show inventory.” with ISBN, in bulk, from a file and Show inventory each being their own link.
    But if you get rid of the buttons, I think I can adapt!

  11. David said

    I would love to see the right side (stats and stuff – that’s what I call it at least) be more featured, even moved the left, as we read Left to Right (in English). I find that information more vital.

    I have a tendency to use both the buttons and the tabs.

    And to reinforce what others are saying, keep up the good work.

  12. Jendia said

    As a new user (less than a month), I would not miss the buttons if they were removed.

    Removing the buttons would allow the “Member Home” page more white space, which would make it appear less cluttered (tab-driven v. table-driven).

    Thank you.

  13. I am a tab kind of girl, tabbed browser, tabbed sites…I like tabs because they are uniform, and neat. The buttons seem a bit much, but I am guessing they are to fill up space?

    I am so glad I found this site. It is a great idea. Keep up the great work!


  14. mgpb said

    I never use the buttons, feel free to remove. Even for folks that use them regularly, you are not taking away any functionality, and the adaptation to tabs will be almost immediate and mostly painless.

    General design principal: Don’t remove functionality, but keep it simple and clean.

  15. Ben said

    I think you should grab a copy of Steve Krug’s classic “Don’t Make me Think” (not currently moochable I’m afraid!) and do some of the dirt cheap and easy usability tests he recommends. It always works.

    But as long as we’re voting, I use the buttons ;).

  16. Peter Halabu said

    I don’t use the buttons, but what would you put there instead? I could see keeping the main illustration as a background, while making the “stats” more central and perhaps also iconic rather than text-based. Just a thought!


  17. shenoka said

    Hi John,

    I prefer the tabs. Perhaps we could remove the buttons and have links to most recently added books or other stats.


  18. Bobbi said

    I use the tabs almost exclusively so I wouldn’t miss the buttons much.

  19. Becky said

    I like the tabs – they are nicest to use. Buttons are harder on the eye, maybe due to the longer line you have to read.

    Please could there be a ‘History’ tab, as the only one place to access member history is right at the bottom of ‘Pending’. Constantly going back to Pending when I want History gets annoying.

    Bookmooch is the greatest idea since Wiki, webwise. It’s changing my bookshelves every week, and I LOVE getting parcels in the post! Thanks for setting it up.

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