I am currently working on a new project for a financial trading and broking platform, where we are splitting the screen into 2 columns, one sidebar and one for content. The purpose of the sidebar is for navigation purposes and confirming completed steps to the user.
In the Nav (also located in the sidebar) we have two action buttons, add and locate, whose options are limited to the scope of the step and the object, but are recurrently used (i.e. for a contact we can add and locate quotes, complaints or fees => then for the quotes we can locate the quotes received, but we can't add anything).
We can also add tasks, files etc. These are global additions that are duplicated. I want to avoid duplicating this. Can anyone recommend a good way to add and make the options change in the add and locate buttons, without confusing the user. Unfortunatelty, I cannot add any screenshots at this point.
I was thinking of adding a dropdown list with changing options depending on the applicability to the object (i.e the quote, contacts etc), then splitting the dropdown with a line separator and add the global options (i.e. the tasks, files etc) below.
Also is it recommended to put the step by step (like breadcrumbs) in the sidebar or shall we put it on top of the main content. By steps I mean the actions you need to take to arrive to the end point of receiving quotes for clients. So the user will see the steps left to take and where they are currently.