Fixed header bar is becoming more popular in web design. It refers to the name given to any top navigation that stays at the top of your web browser at all times, even while scrolling down the page. By having the bar stick to the top, this means that the user does not have to scroll to the top when they want to change page.
Although fixed header bars have been around for awhile they are being used by more and more websites today as they are both aesthetically pleasing and provide a better user experience for those navigating a site.
For fixed headers to be effective type of navigation there are some considerations that should be taken into account.
The weight and prominence of your navigation bar needs to be balanced to avoid distraction. If the bar is too large and/or dark it will take attention away from the content — directing it to the navigation bar instead. You don’t want the bar to be overpowering or take up too much space. The navigation should add value to the site and not detract from it.
The best sites to use fixed navigation on are the ones with heavy content and a few main areas of navigation that are frequently used. If a user is ever lost they can quickly reference the navigation. Fixed navigation also works well for websites of companies that are trying to sell products. These sites often have a cart and potential for a user to be logged in. The fixed navigation allows the users to access the cart as well as any product or category in the shop at any time. One page sites with long vertically scrolling content can also benefit from a fixed navigation bar so that the user can easily navigate to desired areas of the site without scrolling through data that might not interest them.
Fixed headers are found on many kinds of sites today including blogs, companies, social networks and portfolios. Some people might not even realize how many sites they use everyday utilize this type of navigation. Some popular sites that use this navigation are Facebook, Gmail and Pinterest.
Keeping these points in mind when creating fixed navigation will enhance both the design and user experience.