If user input is not available. Any tools or techniques to use to determine menu item order?

Most used commands towards the top, but is there a way to determine this without end-user input?

2 Answers 2


Emulate other application menus. Users want as much familiarity as possible in command menus. For commands that are unique to your application, try to see where similar commands fit into conventional categories. You can use Google Images or YouTube to look at several mainstream software examples and a spreadsheet program to map their command menu layouts. That should give you an idea on categorization and ordering.

The Edit menu for three popular desktop programs:

Chrome Edit menu

MS Word Edit menu

Figma Edit menu

  • Thank you, that is my current approach. Mar 24, 2022 at 23:58

To determine the right order of the menu elements in your product, the best method is tree, or tree-jack (treejack) testing. It is similar to card sorting, but this particular testing method is usually applied when designing menus and IA.

You can read more: https://www.optimalworkshop.com/treejack/ , https://www.tree-testing.com/treejack/

I suggest you to try it out, because applying a pattern on your design not always the right solution. If the app has a specific purpose, or its end users have some "domain specific" knowledge what overwrites typical patterns, you can eliminate every usability problems by double-checking it with tree testing.

  • Thanks! tree sorting was a part of the process. I might be able to round up a group to test these out. Apr 28, 2022 at 15:01

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