What is the top navigation called when it is common to a network or suite of websites?

  • What is the top navigation bar called when it is common to a suite or network of sites with a common login, as in StackExchange, 37 Signals (Basecamp, Backpack, etc.), or Google Apps for Your Domain?

    I'm talking about the navigation that on this site inclues the StackExchange dropdown, login, username, and search tool. What does StackExchange call it? 37 Signals? Google? What's a commonly understood phrase for common element?

    I see in one thread that Microsoft calls it the "eyebrow navigation," but this is hardly a common term, and it has ambiguous meaning, since it's also a stand-in for breadcrumbs.

    Note: I'm not talking about notification bars, butter bars, or the "flash" notification that appears temporarily at the very top to alert users to action results or company news.

    I should clarify … there are two things that I commonly see: 1) a bar that let's you jump from one site to another in a family/suite of sites (as in the black bar on 37 Signals), and 2) a bar that lets you see your notifications, messages, user profile, etc. (as in the navigation immediately below the black bar on 37 Signals & StackExchange sites). In the second case, it may or may not show universal login, but the UI is identical. Do this have a distinct name?

  • Kanwar

    Kanwar Correct answer

    10 years ago

    The common term for that part of a web page would be 'utility navigation'.

    "...A customer may want to look up the shipping date of an order, peek at their wish list, or pay for their purchases. That little row of useful links is often called utility navigation. It provides access to subsidiary tools that help the user, but it is not the core reason for the web site."


    (note: this also appears as an answer on the linked 'eyebrow nav' question)

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM