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I am working on navigation for a retail site. I have a typical account menu (My Account, Sign In, Create Account etc) and I have a main hamburger menu with department pages etc.

The site experience is greatly improved when the customer signs in, so I want to encourage this behavior.

My question is: I have an Account Menu item (My Purchases) in the main hamburger navigation under the title "Popular", I also have an My Account section in the hamburger menu. Should I repeat My Purchases under Popular and My Account in the hamburger menu to match how the separate Account Menu is structured or should I remove My Purchases from the hamburger My Account section because it already appears in another part of the hamburger menu structure.

The structure and two options are below:

Separate Account Menu:

Child 1: My Purchases
Child 2: x
Child 3: x


Option 1:

Hamburger Menu:

Nav Title: Popular
Child 1: My Purchases
Child 2: x
Child 3: x

Nav Title: My Account
Child 1: My Purchases
Child 2: Sign In
Child 3: Create Account


Option 2:

Hamburger Menu:

Nav Title: Popular
Child 1: My Purchases
Child 2: x
Child 3: x

Nav Title: My Account
Child 1: Sign In
Child 2: Create Account

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  • Are your users aware they are splitting purchases between children? Is this something they set-up themselves? Aug 13, 2019 at 7:58
  • I am not sure I understand the question. I am just using Child 1, etc as a navigational naming convention Aug 13, 2019 at 13:02
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    Could you please explain why "My Purchase" will come under "Popular"? Will your users be able to relate these things with their mental model? Generally My Purchases are related to My Account Aug 14, 2019 at 12:53

2 Answers 2

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You could run a card sorting exercise with your users to determine what links should go where. They are very quick and cheap to run, if you aren't familiar with them you can read about them here.

https://www.usability.gov/how-to-and-tools/methods/card-sorting.html

My assumption would be option 2, provided that is the entirety of the menu items. It's short enough and listed under appropriate categories that a user won't get easily lost.

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  • It is not the extent of the menu, I have all the department, brands etc in the menu as well. Popular would fall at the top of the menu and My Account would be placed at the bottom. Aug 13, 2019 at 13:04
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You likely need to repeat the menu items due to using the label "Popular".

The popularity of a page/section would normally imply a separate level of categorization above and beyond how things are normally organized. It may also imply a level of time-sensitivity if what is popular changes frequently. It can be a nice shortcut, but it probably shouldn't be the only path the success.

For example, if a user doesn't care about what's popular, they would have the reasonable expectation of still being able to find what they want where it would normally be. If men's shirts or women's pants became popular it is unlikely that it would be a good experience if those categories were removed from the broader men's and women's sections. In a sense, having the only link in the Popular section would force all users to maintain an awareness of what's popular or not on your site just so they can find anything. That's probably an unnecessary cognitive load.

You should also avoid moving items from one menu to another if possible. Once a user learns where something is, spatial memory and muscle memory take over, so if something changes in popularity and moves menus it will take them several frustrating moments to find it again. Or they might assume it no longer exists and contact your support team.

On the other hand, having redundant/duplicate links probably won't cause any UX issues if they are all labeled clearly (and the link/menu style shows where they are and where they've been). The user may never notice the redundancy since they probably stop scanning the menu once they find the choice they want.

Note that there is a fine line here, and if that category was called something other than Popular users might have very different expectations. For example, if you had My Account and My History sections, users might expect My Purchases to be in either group, or both. If you decide to only have each menu item once, a card sort (as Calum called out) will help you uncover where things should go and what categories should be called.

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