Ever since the advent of the “mega menu” navigation I’ve felt that Information Architecture as a discipline has dropped the ball on defining navigation approaches in a systematic way. I think this may in part have happened around the time that pattern libraries began popping up like mushrooms; perhaps we all thought that any necessary documentation or thinking about navigation was happening by default in pattern libraries; and yet to my knowledge no one ever put together a pattern library of navigation treatments with explicit insights about where and how these options are best applied in relation to a site’s IA as opposed to the context of the screen/page layout. (I would be happy to be wrong about this.)
But a couple weeks ago, I ran across this site (which is actually over a year old; suggesting that I’m not as up to speed on this topic as I ought to be).
While this doesn’t take the approach that I would specifically like to see, in terms of talking about the relationship between the breadth and depth of the information structure as part of the pros & cons, it does specifically focus on navigation patterns; albeit limited to responsive design (but since that seems to be obviously where we’re all headed, it’s a good place to start).
And it reminds me that doing something proactive about describing/tracking navigation treatments and trends would be more productive than complaining about the lack thereof…another item for the To Do list.