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I am developing a navigation system for an intranet application I am building and I have access to good tree and MillerColumn components. Has anyone else got any expereinces they could share with me on choosing one over the other

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Most users come from Windows and are more familiar with tree controls than Miller columns, so for a public website's navigation you should use a tree (or menu bar for horizontal layout) in preference.

If most of the users on your intranet are on Windows, use trees. If most are on Macs, you have a case for using Miller columns, but read on...

Miller columns become space inefficient or fiddly to use unless the nodes of the tree have similar degree. On a website with many pages, I'm thinking of a site hosting lots of technical documentation here, if you try to fix that problem, you end up structuring your navigation to fit the control's needs, rather than to fit the information's natural structure. That makes it hard to maintain as requirements change. Trees and menus are more forgiving of variation in the degree of each node.

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