In our web app (apologies in advance for my vagueness), we’ve gone down a path where a user can engage in the exact same functionality via the same mirrored component in two separate places in the app.
To flesh it out, imagine a buy/sell component where buyers and sellers can chat and negotiate with one another to make the best deal on an item. Let’s just call that agglomeration of features a “negotiation panel.” This same negotiation panel now appears in two separate places in our app with the exact same functionality in both places: (1) on a sale item’s detail page and (2) on a transitional page of “stuff-I’m-currently-negotiating.”
Once I (as a buyer, say) have engaged with a seller on a detail page for one of their sale items, I can choose to continue negotiating on that very same detail page OR I can carry on the negotiation on my “stuff-I’m-currently-negotiating” page. It’s the same component, mirrored in two places, with the exact same functionality. Email notifications link to the “stuff-I’m-currently-negotiating” page, rather than to the detail page.
Here was the thought process:
The goal was to keep buyers (and sellers) from needing to go to the detail page to finish negotiating a deal. Instead, since they’re already watching and keeping tabs on “stuff-I’m-currently-negotiating” page, let’s just throw the “negotiation panel” in there, too. Save them some time and effort.
My fear is that this will confuse users, some of whom will inevitably wonder whether they’re carrying out the negotiation in the “right” place. Why does it appear in two places? Where should I be? Which one is correct?
In the short-term, this is the arrangement we have to deal with, but long-term, I’d like to see us get rid of this mirrored functionality.
My questions are these: (1) Have you seen a pattern like this in other apps? (I can’t say that I have.) (2) How would you go about recommending to the business that this pattern be abandoned?
(3) feel free to chime in if you think this is great idea. ;)