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I saw this in a wireframe from a team that was designing the menu of a website and saw a weird behaviour where one of the item in the drop down menu linked to the next main element in the menu.

I have not come across this behaviour before and in my opinion this is not required as the second item already has its own space in the menu. Adding the same thing to the sub menu is totally pointless. I want other opinions on this.

In the image you can see that "Item 2" exists in both the sub-menu of the first element and as the main second item in the menu.

Has anyone come across this pattern? To add to this confusion, Item 2 in the first menu is called something else but basically takes the user to the same page as the main item 2 in the menu.

Just confusingenter image description here

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    Probably, the previous designer didn't follow the best practices, maybe he was just following directions from someone who was not concerned about UX, maybe that's management's intervention, maybe it was just a mistake or there was no predefined architecture. Maybe no one cared about it, and it's just there. There could be so many things. I hope the better approach would be now to organize the information architecture first and then land on the next step :) Nov 3, 2021 at 11:11

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It's more common than you think. The redundancy that seems useless to our eyes, in UI design pursues other purposes:

  • Accessibility: the ease way for the user to find immediately what they are looking for, or without looking for it, finding more options to stay in the page
  • SEO: the more data, the more action options for search engines

If there's a Who we are submenu accessing the page Our Company, there are already two elements for the search engines.

The image example is somewhat obvious with the issue but with a small modification it can come to be understood as something more real, for example when it comes to the Contact us page that can be in the Home drop-down menu and leads to the Contact page.

enter image description here

A clear example of redundancy in menus is the drop-down menu item repeated in the bottom menu of the page, where a better accessibility is clearly perceived as the objective:

enter image description here

Screenshot: Tablet magazine

In any case:

Redundant navigational systems increase the likelihood that users will find what they are searching for. We often design one navigational scheme for users and another scheme for search engines.

Source The Benefits of Redundancy in Web Design

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  • Thanks for the response. I agree with you on the accessibility point. The thing that concerns me if someone else in the team uses the same reasoning to add more redundancy to the menu by duplicating more elements in the sub menu, the menu can get cluttered quite quickly and loose its focus. Another case where this can get confusing when you have redundant elements sitting in different categories Have you come across any studies or research about redundancies in design and menus in particular? to better understand if the intended benefits are served.
    – aravind
    Nov 3, 2021 at 11:45
  • And from an SEO stand point, redundancies can actually hurt than improve. I found an interesting link from NN about redundancies : nngroup.com/articles/duplicate-links but in most cases it doesn't really help in the examples I shared.
    – aravind
    Nov 3, 2021 at 11:48
  • Have you come across any studies or research about redundancies – There's a link in the answer. – ...the menu can get cluttered quite quickly... – Obviously the elements to be repeated should be chosen as keys for one of the two objectives: accessibility or SEO.
    – Danielillo
    Nov 3, 2021 at 11:49
  • Redundancy is not the same as repeating the exact same content. As is written in the question – Item 2 in the first menu is called something else
    – Danielillo
    Nov 3, 2021 at 11:52
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    In the comments I usually make references to what is described in the answer. As you can imagine, if more questions are asked within the comments this can be infinite. I invite you to make a new question with your new concern: Are there any studies or research about redundancies in design and menus in particular?
    – Danielillo
    Nov 3, 2021 at 12:34

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