There are many approaches to implement so-called Mega Menus that incorporate images or multiple menu hierarchies. However, if you just needing to compress the menu above the fold, this is a pretty efficient method.
One of the promising new features in SharePoint 2013 is the Minimal Download Strategy, which allows pages in non-publishing sites to be rendered using AJAX callbacks rather than full round trips and page refreshes. When it works, it provides a very seamless user experience, with only the essential portions of the page being changed.
However, when MDS fails, there is not much to go on.
As a developer, there will always be things you can’t keep up on. Be that a new language, framework, toolkit, backlog of features, unit test coverage, or even documentation. There simply has become too much to learn, too much to consume, too much to monitor, for any normal person with a day job to manage. And that is okay.