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Let's say I have an app that manages some items. An item can be "owned" by an user. I'll have these screens :

  1. List of items (A)
  2. Item detail page (B)
  3. User Detail page (C)

I want to display information about the user that owns the item on (B) and link that to that user's detail page (C).

Also, on (C) I'd like to have the list of items owned by him and link them to the item detail pages accordingly(B)

This is what the navigation can get to, which doesn't seem right:

(A)->(B)->(C)->(B)->(C)...

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Given the scenario the navigation you outline is what you get.

Yes, it can be confusing, but it is the logical outcome of your workflow. I can't see a way to change this without breaking the navigation.

Most people won't really notice this. They'll probably hit "home" to get back to the list of items (assuming that it exists) rather than using any "back" button you might have.

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And hey, you're not going to be the first one to do that. Have a look at any online selling website and/or their app. You search for something, go to the details, find a "similar product" go to its detail page, and find your first item in the "similar products". As ChrisF said, make sure you offer the users a way of going back directly to the list of items, and you're fine. –  rdurand Nov 21 '12 at 8:50
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I'm not sure that I see anything wrong with your flow.

I see A as your home screen (which should have a nav item or breadcrumb trail of some sort to get back to it from other screens) and once they go into an item detail and want to know more about a user's other items, it would be confusing to not see the item they just came from in the user's items list.

So, A > B > C > B > C > B > C > A would be fine depending on the goals of the site and the goals of the user.

Just make sure they have easy ways to get back to A and you should be golden.

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