Obviously this is not a viable long-term solution. There will soon come a time when I can't dodge this anymore. Does anybody else have this problem? Am I right that it's a significantly bad idea? Does anybody have a really convincing low-tech spiel about appropriate use of the templates?
Here's a typical (paraphrased) conversation:
- Coworker: They've done studies--the left side is always where people look for navigation. Ours should be on the left.
Me: Sure, left-side navigation is common, but UNL's web design guys do their homework, and they wouldn't have put the navigation on top if their research said that would confuse people.
Coworker: Well, what if we just recreate the main menu on the side? You can still leave it on top, too, if you have to.
Me: Visitors might never find our second-level navigation, and they'd "learn" on our site that pages that look like ours have navigation on the side, so they'd be confused on all of the other UNL sites that use the template consistently.
Coworker: So why don't they all just put their navigation on the side?
Me: Someday they may decide to put everybody's navigation on the side, but for now, this is how it is. We need to either share their philosophy or abandon the template completely.
Coworker: No, I like how the template looks. We should keep it but just put our menu someplace different.
Me [envisioning WDN lynch mob]: The placement of the menu is part of the template. Using that space for our menu would undermine the purpose of having a consistent layout that a visitor only has to learn once.