Note: the opinions expressed in the list below are not necessarily those of the author, but rather those of a selection of the author's clients.
Regarding the items on the Quick Launch bar navigation on most sites:
- The People and Groups link is confusing and needs to be deleted.
- The headings don't fit my organization. (e.g. We call our locations "sites," so the heading for sub-sites can't be called "Sites.")
- The headings are confusing. I don't understand the difference between Documents and Lists. I really don't care what the difference is. And why is there a Discussions heading if there is no content under it?
- I can't find what I need. (Translation: The Quick Launch bar and its contents are invisible.)
As I envision the 2009 release of SharePoint, I'm wondering how these common complaints will be addressed. In MOSS 2007 it is easy to change the navigation headings on a site-by-site basis (not so for WSS), more complicated and risky to change them globally (i.e., your edits to the onet.xml file that governs these headings could be overwritten by an upgrade or patch). Are headings needed at all? Should MS do away with the Documents / Lists / Pictures / Discussions model and let the site owner structure the quick launch bar as content is created? Or define the headings at the outset, the way the Site Map's categories can be defined and then accessed every time a site is created?
Or, given #4, is the quick launch bar a flawed concept? I have witnessed end-users look for content on a site and never glance at that section of the window, and I have heard the same story from my content-owner clients - "I told him exactly where the link was but he still came back and said he couldn't find it." I've worked with SharePoint long enough that I strongly support the local content / global content model, but many clients seem to want static content (e.g., a "hot list") in the left nav as well as across the top of the page.
The Quick Launch Bar and its headings - useful or not? What do you think?