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I want to create profiles for employees which hold all their personal data; general data, vacations, salary details, etc...
All in all it's about 30 categories.

I have tried to create a different tab for each category, but I think the amount of tabs will be overwhelming.

How can I categorise this wisely so it's user-friendly and easy to use?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Having a lot of categories asks for good information architecture. In your case I would go for a hierarchy with at least two levels of categories.

Categorie 1
  Categorie 1a
  Categorie 1b
Categorie 2
  Categorie 2a
  Categorie 2b
  Categorie 2c
Categorie 3
Categorie 4
  Categorie 4a
  Categorie 4b

It might help two write every categorie on a piece of paper and (maybe with the help of someone else to get a second opinion) see what categories can be grouped under one other categorie.
For example, name, address, zipcode and phonenumber could be grouped under Personal information.
Salary details and vacation days can be grouped too.
And so on.

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Agreed, this is a perfect opportunity to do some Post-It grouping! With 30 categories (each containing 5 items?), it probably still is a really good idea to implement a search feature, as well. – Lukzen Mar 11 '14 at 12:47
Do u mean nested tabs , like 5 main tabs and each one has subtabs ?? – Anyname Donotcare Mar 11 '14 at 12:49
Exactly that. Write your categories on post-its, group them if you think they are alike and create that group. The groupname will be the new categorie and the original categories will be it's subcategories. The result will be drop down lists or fewer tabs with more information per tab. – Paul Mar 11 '14 at 15:19

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