I have a main menu at my application.

We are refactoring the UI of the application, and we are thinking about reorganize the menu items.

We are considering 2 options:

  • leave as it's
  • alpha sort

My question is, someone can give me some desing pattern about "menu organization"?


My application is an ERP.

My menus are like this:

Cadastres | Reports | Complements | Charts | Tools | Configuration | Help

Each item has many items (avg. 10 sub-items), categorized by module (billing, accountancy, etc). Each sub-item has any others sub-items:

- Cadastre
    - Persons  
        - Registration of persons
        - Registration of suppliers
        - Registration of vendors
    - Accountancy
        - Duplicates to pay
- Reports
    - Persons
        - List of inactive persons

  • This is pretty broad, can you give some context about the use case, the amount of menu items, etc.? The type of task the user is trying to complete and the amount of data in the list makes some patterns better than others Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 18:16
  • 1
    @CharlesWesley, post improved!
    – Beto Neto
    Commented Nov 19, 2013 at 10:14

1 Answer 1


First question: Why do you feel the need to refactor the menus in your application? Will that lead to confusion for your users? They should expect menu items to be at the same position between version, and if there are changes, they should be minimal and documented.

Main menus organization should try to follow the platform's UX standards as much as possible.

For example, on Windows, you should start by having the default top menu categories: File Edit View Tools Help

I think that on Mac OS it is similar:

Apple Menu, File, View Windows Help

After that, you can add you own domain/application specific top menu categories.

Under each top menu category, you should put the menu items that will be used the most at the top of the menu; not necessarily by alphabetical order; they have to make sense to the user and the domain.

For example if yours is a graphical application, and the Zoom menu item is used often, then it should be near the top of the View menu.

Another example, the "About" menu item in the Help top menu is usually the item at the bottom of the menu.

That's a start.

Good luck.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.