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We have a suite of web applications that use 3 levels of menus – that last being context sensitive. The context sensitive menu is currently inside a concertina menu control, but I want to find out if that is the best place for it.

Screenshot when you go to the Recipes section: enter image description here

Screenshot when you click on a recipe: enter image description here

And this is how the menus work...

Menu #1 This is the applications menu: the main menu across the top of each is how you switch between different applications (Messages, Stock, Cash etc). This menu doesn't change.

Menu #2 Sections-within-an-application menu: the top level items on the left hand menu (Stock Size Groups, Stock Items, Recipes etc). This take you to different sections while you are working within an application and doesn't change unless you switch applications.

Menu #3 Context-sensitive menu: the sub level items on the left hand menu (Stock Item, Departments, Categories etc). These change depending on what you are working on. These menus change as you work.

Users have said that they find it confusing having the left-hand menu changing, which could also mean increasing and decreasing.

Have we put the context sensitive menu in the wrong place and where could it be?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Staying consistent with menus is a rule of thumb for keeping users happy. In your example, you can simply add a horizontal menu for the 'Recipe' page, giving the user the contextual menu for that particular page.

The sidebar should always display the same menus as replacing them loses the entire context and flow of the links and their hierarchy.

share|improve this answer
+1 for menu consistency – Pdxd Aug 13 '14 at 16:14

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