Support » Requests and Feedback » Twentytwelve – drop down indicators on Nav bar

  • Twentytwelve is the flagship theme for WordPress. As such, it should be bullet proof, have no errors or lacking functionality so that it can show off the greatness of WordPress.

    The absence of drop down indicators is one example of lack of functionality with Twentytwelve.

    The presence of drop down arrows indicate that there are a sub menus, it is a functional necessity of any theme with sub menus.

    Without them the user has no idea there is a whole list of pages under that heading. The absence of the arrows is unnecessarily hiding whole sections of your website from view.

    Please add them to Twentytwelve.

    Here is an example:

    .nav-menu li > a:after {
        color: #888;
        content: ' ▾';
    .nav-menu li > a:hover:after {
        color: #444;
        content: ' ▾';
    .nav-menu li > a:only-child:after {
        content: '';
Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Moderator Andrew Nevins


    WCLDN 2018 Contributor | Volunteer support

    What justification is there as to whether a that arrow actually indicates a drop-down functionality? Yes, interaction points should hold their functionality visible (Norman, 2002), but I’m not aware of studies that have concluded the triangle drop-down indicators are most suitable. To what extent are users are affected by the lack of indication? We may be heuristically picking on issues that are not apparent in use with non-expert users.

    Norman, D.A. (2002) The Design of Everyday Things. New York: Basic Books.

    I think it might be a subjective issue. I personally think those indicators would take away from the cleanliness and sleek appearance of the navigation. Twenty Twelve is an outstanding theme. One of the great things about WordPress is, that you can make a Twenty Twelve child theme in a matter of minutes, and add anything you like to it. Your preference for the indicators is a perfect example.


    The lack of any indicator leaves the visitor thinking each of the nav items are single page links. If ther are no sub menu indicators you rely on the user hovering over every nav item to accidentally discover a sub menu. If they are not interested in one of these links that has a drop down sub menu, without the indicator they will not hover over the link to discover a whole sub section of the website. It makes no functional sense to not make this clear to your visitors and to instead have them guess, or accidentally discover parts of your website.

    The presence of downward pointing arrows gives at least some indication that there are more nav items below.

    Downward pointing arrows are the most common indicator for sub menus. If you can think of a more appropriate indicator, please offer them as suggestions.

    You are free to have your own opinion and I have no interest debating it with you. I’m just offering the suggestion for future updates to Twentytwelve. Developers of Twentytwelve can take it on board or not. I do think Twentytwelve is their best default theme yet and is a great base to start from. This is just a small suggestion for improvement.

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
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