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I am trying to design a navigation system for users researching entities. This is what you see when you arrive at a page for a particular entity - basic info, plus a whole load of different expandable research options, such as history, people etc, each with a small preview of the information available.

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My question is what to do when the user clicks on one of these research options. My overall goals are:

  1. to show the user more information quickly
  2. to keep the various options in place, so the user can still switch between them
  3. to keep the top-level info in place, so that the user can sensibly deep-link to any of the options for the entity, e.g. /entity/history.

The way I have done this is to collapse the different options, and treat them as tabs.

enter image description here

But the problem is that having tabs in a multi-level grid seems a bit strange. (Also, when there are 5 or 7 tabs, as there sometimes will be, it'll be even stranger.)

Do you think this works okay, or can anyone suggest a better way to do things? Maybe a carousel instead of a grid?

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1 Answer

Could you consider moving the tabs to the side? That would be less confusing than the "multi-level grid" and allow the number of tabs to grow as needed.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

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Thanks for the suggestion! The issue with this is that I'd like to show a preview of all the different options on the landing page. –  cakehoover Jan 21 '13 at 15:16
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@cakehoover Must both pages have the same layout? I assumed the landing page would still show the insights but then use a tab layout for switching between sections. Or is it, in fact, one page? –  Matt Obee Jan 21 '13 at 15:18
    
It's a single page application, so it is in effect the same page. I'd quite like to keep some consistency between the two pages, in any case. –  cakehoover Jan 21 '13 at 15:23
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