I am in middle of a confusion, where I am not able to choose between accordion menus and drop down menus?

I have a menu of links, just the way I have shown in below Wire frame. [Learning Apps] On click of any Link, I have 3-4 other sub menus.

What should be feasible - An expanding accordion or a sub-menu just opening right beside parent menu

What is more OK, from usability perspective ?

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  • I think your question might get more attention if you reword your question to better convey what you are asking. Try to focus on one question or thought and write complete sentences about that topic to provide background and context. Then close with a simple one-sentence question if you can.
    – sholsinger
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 14:36
  • Sub menus are ok for navigating to a different place where maybe that primary menu does not exist any more or is not displayed the same way. But accordions are good for navigating within the context or framework of the current page - or at least making that seem more like that is the case. Accordion menu links that jump to other pages where the accordion is no longer present can make the ui feel a bit broken Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 14:47
  • This may help you somewhat... ux.stackexchange.com/questions/23181/… Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 11:13
  • 1. Does clicking on "Content", "Test", "online class" take you to a unique page? Or is it just a way to access sub-menus? 2. Once user is in a subsection under "Announcement", is she likely to go to another subsection? For example, there could be 4 sub-sections under "Announcement" but those sub-sections could be sequential in nature. 3. Will you have breadcrumbs to indicate user's current place? (e.g. Announcement > Subsection A)
    – Jung Lee
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 20:21
  • @JungLee Few menus like Content, Test, Online Class will have sub menus. Few of these will take you to unique page, like Announcement. Sub menus could be like this -> Create, List, Manage. I am not showing breadcrumbs anywhere. I hope this answers your queries Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 4:38

1 Answer 1


Drop down menus are often ugly on a Phone applications. They open up a new view state and you’re practically navigating away from the page you’re currently navigating. From a UX-perspective that’s bad. To use the dropdown well – you need to style it as the application so the user know that they are still in the same app.

Accordion menus are probably a better choice since you remain on the page you’re currently viewing, which lets the user know where they are at all times. If you have several sub-menus, only use one open at a time keeping the scrolling to a minimum. If you open a new accordion menu, close the other ones.

Remember that phone app users often turn of the screen at any given moment. If you do that on an open drop-down menu, the user (often) have no clue where they are and have to start over. But on an accordion menu, you know where you are.

Android drop-down menu

-Android drop-down menu-

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