I want to use JJG's visual vocabulary to construct the diagram of a web page. However, I cannot fully understand some of its components. For example, the conditional selector is used when a user action generates one of a number of results for a given path. According to this logic, I cannot see why he does not use it in the following example:

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Also I cannot understand why the results page is not represented as a pagestack since it is defined as a "group of functionally identical pages whose navigational properties are immaterial to the macrostructure of the site"

2 Answers 2


Use the Conditional Selector when you have at least one of possibly many links to non-same objects.

The Conditional Selector element can be used when user action generates one or more results for a given path. Like this, where the Archive Index might have links for each of the months.

multiple optional branches

Alternatively, since this is a case where each of the child pages are of the same type, you would be better off representing the same concept with a simple stack. Using both a Conditional Selector and a Page Stack is redundant.

multiple optional branches, all of the same kind

Where you do want to use the Conditional Selector element is when you have multiple optional branches, of which you're certain to have at least one.

Product page, with optional child pages

Although, if there is the possibility that none of the child pages exist to be linked to then you should instead use Conditional Connectors:

Parent page connects via dashed lines


I'm not familiar with this, but I'll throw out a guess.

The ability to search, browse the archive, or reach any of the second-level pages is not conditional based on a system state. You could argue that it's conditional based on the user's state of mind ("what's my favorite page? oh, Search is..."), but that's out of scope of this tool.

In a conditional scenario, the user enters via one entry point and is guided to one of many options by the system; here, the user has all options available to them. If the "Search" page were restricted to particular users, for example, or only available at certain times--and users were directed to some other state when it wasn't available--it would be appropriate to use a conditional selector here.

As for your last question--though there are multiple results, I didn't see this system as having multiple result pages (rather, multiple results per page).

Sound about right? I'm totally new to this vocabulary, so please correct me if I'm totally off base.

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