Upcoming Project – Mega Drop Down Menu into osCommerce

Upcoming project is to take the Mega Drop Down Menu of Soh Tanaka and integrate it into osCommerce.

It is very straightforward in basic HTML (I managed to get it working within a couple of minutes) based on the examples given, but because I want the category structure to come direct from the database I needed to create some flavour of osCommerce standardised interface to grab the content from the DB, and output it in the required HTML.

It’s always a problem to work with the category structure of osCommerce – especially if the output is required in a certain format. There are a few “css” based category files floating about, but none of them output the HTML in the way that the Mega Drop Down requires, hence the need for a new way to do it, I’m almost there, but not quite right at the moment.

Anyway, should be an interesting project when it does go ahead – here’s proof of concept…

So, we can see that it will work, what I need to do now is make sure that the category structure is correctly outputted automatically rather than my proof of concept which was done manually.

13 Replies to “Upcoming Project – Mega Drop Down Menu into osCommerce”

  1. Looks cool Gary.

    If you don’t mind, a question regarding design considerations if using a drop down menu such as this…

    Once implemented, would your preference be to disable both the left and right columns if all other right-column box content was incorporated into the drop down menu or other spot (ie search box in header)? Or, would you keep at a minimum the right column?

    Realizing that every site and design approach is different, just curious what your preference might be.

    Thanks
    Rob

  2. looks really nice.

    I’ve dropped my left categories navigation, but on some sites, I’ve seen the subcategories repeated, which I felt was a good use as it immediately answers the ‘where am i’ question …

  3. Gary, Carine…thanks for the replies.

    Dropping the left and right columns was my initial thought, too, but didn’t know if I might be overlooking some basic rule of e-commerce site design.

  4. The only problem with this is that the menu appears to only want to support 2 layers of categories;

    main cats
    sub cats of those main cats.

    If a main cat has no subcats it doesn’t display quite nicely, as seen here by the “gadgets” main category;

    The answer to this is;

    1. Add subcats to any main category
    or
    2. Add a product list if a main category has no subcategories (adds in extra complexity though). Possible, I guess. But what if the main category has 100s of products in it ?

    It’s difficult to know what to do for the best. I think the way forward is for those who use this, to make sure that the main categories have at least 1 subcategory inside them. Then it all looks and works very well.

  5. Thats awesome, and just the sort of menu that would benefit oscommerce navigation, however would you release a rc2a version of this when complete? pretty please, with a cherry on top 😉

  6. I won’t be releasing it, but it is not too difficult to take the code and make it fit.

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