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I am currently working on the basic navigation for an online bug reporting tool. Users report bugs that are listed in tickets.

It is possible to create multiple projects. For example, agencies use the tool to track bugs on multiple client projects other users create separate projects for frontend bugs and backend bugs.

The user should be able to switch between projects easily. Currently, I have two options to do that:

  1. A drop-down in the horizontal main navigation enter image description here

  2. By clicking on "projects" in the horizontal navigation and selecting the project on a separate page enter image description here

Is there a best practice or UX research on this? What do users expect? I have seen both approaches. For example, Trello uses the drop-down approach while basecamp uses the extra page approach. I am also open for alternatives other than the two.

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Both!

I'd go with a project overview dedicated page and the ability to immediately jump to a project from within another project.

That way you help both new and experienced users traverse in your app. Without forcing anyone to always go back to the "Projects" page in order to jump to another project.

Bonus point if you add a search function in each page, so users can use keywords/names for the project they want to immediately jump to.

Also falls in line with these 2 Heuristics:

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.

Recognition rather than recall

Minimize the user's memory load by making objects, actions, and options visible. The user should not have to remember information from one part of the dialogue to another. Instructions for use of the system should be visible or easily retrievable whenever appropriate.

  • Thanks, Socrates. How would a user get to the project page if a click triggers the drop-down? – tcam Oct 10 '17 at 11:00
  • You could have an option such as "See all projects" or you could have "Projects" as an additional link to your navigation. – Socrates Kolios Oct 10 '17 at 11:28

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