The left column navigation should point forward; drive you
towards your destination. The BBC website is a really great
design. When you get to the homepage, you get two major options:
News and Sport.

Clicking on Sport gets you to a left column navigation beginning
with: Football, Cricket, Rugby Union, etc. (Notice it is not
alphabetical; it begins with the most popular, Football.)

Clicking on Football removes all the other Sport options and
shows you just Football ones. What if someone is interested in
Cricket? If I was interested in Cricket I’d have clicked on

You keep clicking until you select, say, Manchester United. In
the left navigation you now see links such as Squad Selector,
Results, Fixtures, etc. The worst navigation systems would
continue to offer you Cricket in the left navigation. Of course,
that would result in a huge list of links in the left navigation
that would cause great confusion.

Gerry McGovern