I have a table which is a collection of several different types of item, Documents, Images, and Assets (domain specific). I originally had different columns for each item and this was messy so I added a vertical ellipsis "Action menu" on the end which looks much better.

However each of these item types have a different set of context actions in the menu.

Is it bad practice to have different context menus given that you don't know what's in the menu until you open it?

Image Menu

Document Menu

Image Menu

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


I don't think it's a bad practice, practically all graphic applications have the same menu at the top right of each tool panel with completely different content specific to the panel itself together with common menu options.

Adobe Photoshop Navigator and Histogram panels and options menu

Although being something so specific, I wouldn't hesitate to create certain homogeneity patterns or custom rules.

For example, knowing that in each dropdown there are repeat options and custom options, I would create two groups so that:

  • The user knows there are personalized options for each item in addition to the standard ones.
  • The users can visually interpret in which of the groups they are interacting
  • Users while working with the application can accustom their eye to what content belongs to which particular element. This also lets them know if they are on the right or wrong item
  • In addition to the contrast by position in the menu, regardless of whether it is up or down, I would accentuate it with style contrast in the icons

With the standard options above:

enter image description here

With the standard options below:

enter image description here

  • 1
    Both splitting the options by standard and custom and separating them by contrast are great tips - thank you Commented Mar 23, 2022 at 3:31

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