McKinsey : Expandable sidebar

A creative variation on the ‘click-to-expand’ menu could be useful for corporate website articles.

click to view

The feature

An article on crisis management on, the website of the US-based management consultancy, has a ‘click-to-expand’ sidebar.

On a desktop screen, the sidebar appears as a box in the left column – ‘Sidebar: Are you prepared for the worst? Twenty-five questions executives should ask themselves now’. (On a mobile screen, the box is centred across the screen.) Clicking on the ‘plus’ sign in the box expands the full story on both smartphone and desktop screens.

The takeaway

The expandable sidebar is a neat design feature that could be adapted to improve the way corporate articles are presented online; as an alternative to pop-ups, tabs or more conventional ‘click-to-expand’ menus.

A few caveats, however – the sidebar is well down the page, meaning visitors may miss it. The heading, ‘Sidebar’ does little to draw visitors in (and may not be understood by all readers). It is also worth considering whether the ‘plus’ sign is familiar enough to indicate to readers that clicking on it will reveal more information.
First published 21 June, 2017
< Back to Tips