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I'm working on a tool that can visualize a basic hierarchical relationship between items. The tool would allow users to put an object (one or more) in a search and return the hierarchy of other related items in the system in a folder style view. The results returned start with the objects searched, and display multiple levels of child or parent objects (based on a search option).

The issue we're having now is figuring out where to put this tool in the system. Currently, the view we're looking to place is accessed under the object (EG, the "Overview" tab for "Sample 1"). The problem with this is that it could be confusing for users to search and switch contexts to results from Sample 2 when they originally came into the tool from Sample 1. We don't currently have a way of showing to the user the path they took or history of objects they interacted with in the tool.

For the tool, we want to accommodate two goals:

  • Allow for quick access to view the lineage of a selected object.
  • Allow users to search for any object without first having to navigate to it

Currently, I'm thinking of doing the following:

  • Provide a unique URL for the tool within the app
  • Allow users to use an object specific action button on the object overview page. The option underneath would send the user to the tool with the sample they got there from as the default search option.

Below is an overly simplistic view of what it would currently look like (Image 1) vs. what it might (Image 2).

Current access point for this view Proposed access for this view Is there a better model for this type of navigation that includes consideration for switching contexts between objects?

How could we keep a smooth transition from the overview page of the object to the tool itself?

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