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I have a discussion with my boss about repeating the same several action buttons in different parts of the application. The actions are: add subtask, add note, add meeting, add message and add file. I have the theory that we can´t load the app with so much buttons in different parts if we are going to show the same buttons. But he says it will help to the user to do the experience more comfortable..... Here it is an example: https://imgur.com/a/7CLEd In the example, the card of the level 1 is the project in general, and in the level 2, we can see the project more in deep (you can see there a subcard, where we put the action buttons). Even more: we have a green button add in the left up side column to do again the same actions....

What do you think?

Thanks and regards, Alejandro.

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What if I told you, you both can be right?

  • Your boss is right by offering the same actions on a higher level. This allows advanced users to use your UI without having to individual go to each entry and activate the actions. Real life example: You can delete an e-mail on Gmail from the inbox but you can also do it from inside the e-mail as well.

  • You are right into not wanting to overload the UI with extra buttons and actions that could prove to be distracting to the user. Especially if those actions are not self evident and the user might perform an action by mistake.

One of the activities we perform during UX Planning / Research is a Heuristic Evaluation. (You should probably do an evaluation btw to ensure everything falls in place)

Specifically though, in your particular dilemma I feel this Heuristic Rule is quite relevant:

Flexibility and efficiency of use

Accelerators — unseen by the novice user — may often speed up the interaction for the expert user such that the system can cater to both inexperienced and experienced users. Allow users to tailor frequent actions.

Here's my suggestion. Through User Testing and research, discover which actions are most frequently used by your users. Offer some of them on the higher level (maybe hidden in a "kebab" menu) and then expand more and offer the more elaborate actions in the deeper level.

As always, test. See what your users prefer. What you think as overload could be a welcome feature and what your boss things as a helpful function could be a pain in the ass for your users. You'll never know until you get some feedback.

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