Tabs

Applies to: Plone, Zope and T4 Site Manager
Last updated: 30/01/2015
Summary: Using tabs on web pages.

As of January 2015, tabbed layouts are no longer supported. Existing tabs will continue to work across the University web presence. However, no new tabbed layouts will be implemented.

Reasons for deprecation

  1. Tabs can be useful for displaying small amounts of related material, but on most sites they have been used to display large amounts of information. This information would be much better presented as separate pages.
  2. User testing shows that users prefer to scroll through a clearly structured, longer page than click through a set of tabs.
  3. Tabbed content is not easily bookmarkable or shareable via URLs.
  4. Search engines will index tabbed content but when a user follows that search result to the tabbed page the content is hidden behind a tab (unless it is on the first tab) so they are unable to find it.
  5. The limits of horizontal space on the screen means that tabs can very quickly wrap round onto multiple lines. This looks messy and confusing. This is exacerbated on smaller screens.
  6. Navigating back to a page with a tabbed layout can be confusing for users when they don’t end up on the tab they were expecting.

If any of your web pages use tabbed layouts, we encourage you to review your content, remove the tabs and restructure the page if necessary.