One thing that makes Ninja Post unique compared to other forum software is its vertical navigation bar. This design convention is widely used in other web applications. Gmail is a prominent example. However, no other forum software has adopted this motif.
A vertical navigation bar makes the site’s “control buttons” consistent across all pages which in turn makes it easier to move around the site. For example, after opening a thread, the user should be able to return home without searching high and low for the right button.
Applying the vertical navigation concept to forum software one of the user interface design breakthroughs that we’re most proud of. Interestingly, incorporating a vertical navigation bar into the design complements the use of narrow columns — one of our other most significant breakthroughs in terms of forum design.