I am creating a system that has different modules that need to be shown (in my example: Payroll, Bonus, Loan, Severance, Annual Tax) that each have different processes but all of them (except Annual Tax) should be paid and reported at once.

How do you think the navigation structure should be? So far I created two alternatives:

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The problem with A is that it makes the side navigation too complex and it seems impossible to minimize it. It is important to minimize side navigation since my system needs large space to show many data. It is also important to highlight and access all modules mentioned directly when navigation is minimized.

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The problem with B is that I have to put Payment and Report menu on each module, but I don't think it is the best practice since it will mess up my information architecture and breadcrumb.

I also need some suggestion regarding where to put menu of additional processes that are not streamlined with main Setup -> Process -> Payment -> Report flow (for example, Import) and modules that doesn't follow that flow (for example, Annual Tax).

Any help appreciated.

2 Answers 2


Your example is "one-level" side nav. I suggest to look at "two-level" side nav.

Two-level side nav can be done in 2 ways. Expandable or both main and sub menu visible. I have found that side-by-side is simpler to use on mobile.

An example of two level menu with accordions that can be used as an instruction step by step. So it is a 3 level menu sort of...

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I like the 2-level side nav option proposed above, but I'm not sure I understand the issue of requiring you to duplicate pages within the site structure. Does every module within Compensation need access to the same Payment and Report tabs - wwhich doesn't seem to align with your A mockups - or does each one require its own separate ones (which would seem to negate the issue since each module would need its own tabs anyway)?

Perhaps the issue is that Compensation, to me, seems like something that would fall under an individual Employee as a sub-set of their details; compensation is going to be different for each employee. It appears in A there is a more global Compensation Setup section; perhaps that Compensation Setup should be a section under the larger Setup area,with a way to set defaults and ranges for larger groups of employees. Then the Payroll-Bonus-Loan-Severance pieces could be tied to each employee rather than to a higher level Compensation "module."

Just a thought - it seems like we'll need to know more about your overall architecture and the purpose of the sections to give a really proper answer, or to help with your last point about flow steps. The two-level sidebar nav idea above, however, could help address your desire to collapse the sidebar (which is a good one).

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