Navigation In SharePoint Online

Today, we’ll discuss various navigation types in SharePoint Online.

Building proper navigation to a site attracts more users, as they like the new navigation. The main purpose of navigation is to allow the users to land on their intended page in a quick manner and they should be able to navigate through wherever they want. And at any given point, the user should be able to go back to the home page of the site. So, while SharePoint architects design the navigation, they must adhere to the rules of navigation and know the end user's current way of navigating before introducing a new one.
 
While we talk about Hub Site navigation, we must know about other types of navigation as well. The types of navigation in SharePoint Online are as below.
  • Site Navigation (Local Navigation)
  • Site Collection Navigation(Global Navigation)
  • Hub Site Navigation
  • Megamenu Navigation
  • Personal Navigation
Now, we’ll talk about each type of navigation with a proper example.
 

Site Navigation (Local Navigation)

 
This is simple navigation without which no SharePoint user/developer could go in the classic SharePoint experience at least – the very popular term of this type of navigation is called “Quick Launch”. If you are at the site level and need to create navigation related to that particular site, then Quick Launch navigation is your best friend!!!
 
Example of Site Navigation (Local Navigation).
 
Navigation In SharePoint Online
Pic - Quick Launch Navigation(Team Site)
 
In contrast, if we have a communication site, Quick Launch is on the top of the page. The communication site is a special template that is introduced in SharePoint modern framework. In a Team site, we have quick launch (on the left) and top navigation (on the top), with the communication site we only have one navigation on the top.
 
Note
The communication site does not have top navigation. Instead, Quick Launch has been moved from the left to the top.
 
Navigation In SharePoint Online
Pic - Quick Launch Navigation(Communication Site)
 

Site Collection Navigation (Global Navigation)

 
Let's say we have ten subsites and we want common navigation to all the subsites – then global navigation is the right choice. The navigation should be configured in the top level root site collection and this navigation should be inherited from all subsites below it.
 
Navigation In SharePoint Online
Pic - Global Navigation(Team Site)
 
Note
The Site Collection Navigation option only exists on sites not connected to Office 365 Groups (classic sites or modern team sites without a Group).
 

Hub site navigation

 
In modern site architecture, we will never have all the stuff in a single site collection. Sometimes, we may have a department site as communication and team site with office 365 group connected. Those are independent site collections, in this case, global navigation will fail. This is where the hub site comes into the picture. Hub sites allow us to combine all those different types of sites and site collections and bring them all under one umbrella.
 
Here is an example of hub site navigation, note here the link Sales and IT are from different site collections (classic team site).
 
Navigation In SharePoint Online
Pic - Hub Site Navigation
 

Megamenu Navigation

 
The much-awaited megamenu navigation was recently launched by Microsoft (February & March 2019). It addresses many issues which users have been facing over the last several years in the traditional dropdown navigation approach. One of the major issues of dropdown based navigation is, if the navigation item lists are more, most of the actual content of the site will be hidden or shadowed by the dropdown menu. This is how the user gets frustrated and it leads to poor user adoption to the site. And also in the dropdown-based approach, we cannot have multi-levels of nested items.
 
Example of megamenu:
 
This is a white rectangular box menu – using this we can implement multi-level nested item navigation but in flat architecture. At any given point of time users will not lose their content. While working on megamenu we must know this – if we configure the mega menu in the hub sites, this will not be inherited automatically in the subsequent associated site, we need to configure these in associated sites as well.
 
Navigation In SharePoint Online
Pic - Megamenu Navigation
 
Note
We can achieve all four (Quick Launch, Global, Hub Site and Megamenu) on the same site if we use a team site not connected to an Office 365 Group. The site which is connected to an Office 365 Group loses site collection (Top) navigation option.
 

Personal Navigation

 
All the above types of navigations are man made – I mean these need to be manually configured. Apart from these, we have one more navigation we may name as personal navigation – these are not manually configured, based on the sites we may visit frequently these will be listed out over here.
 
Go to the below URL and click on “SharePoint”.
 
Navigation In SharePoint Online
 
We’ll get the below page - Example of personal navigation – these navigation items will vary from person to person because it depends on the specific user site visits.
 
Navigation In SharePoint Online
Pic - Personal Navigation
 

Summary

 
In this article we have learned the various types of navigations that are available in SharePoint online – like, Site Navigation(Quick Launch), Global Navigation, Hub Site Navigation, Megamenu Navigation, and Personal Navigation. And also we have learned the advantages of navigation over the other ones.