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I'm working on a Desktop Web App. (Mobile is in future planning phase)

I have a dynamic page that can change depending on the compination of the dropdown and tab buttons.

Here is the diagram:

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Version 1

When the user lands on the page, they are greeted with the "Summary" and it defaults to Option 1. The page changes dynamically depending on the combination of choosing from the dropdown and the tabbed menu.

My issue is that not all the option 1 2 and 3 are available on the "Summary" option on the dropdown but I can't remove that option because it would be nice for the user to know right away that it's possible to access it from a secondary dropdown selection.

Having the 1 button greyed out will be difficult for the user to understand that it will reactivate by selecting Option A B or C in the dropdown.

The current navigation was chosen to be future friendly for our app as we plan on making Option 1 2 and 3 into Toggles in the future.

Version 2

My manager suggested placing "Summary" on the bottom and making the Default be Option A however I don't feel that makes sense as it forces the user to drilldown to more detailed information first before viewing the Meta info.

I want to keep the navigation fitting in "Bar" form so it won't take up much real estate in the tool.

I've been mulling over this for about a while and can't figure it out.

Any suggestions?

  • Are the differences between Options A, B, and C large enough that you couldn't make the changes on the page? That is, not switching between these menus in the nav, but moving that UI onto the page itself? (maybe in a breadcrumb, or 'Pills' style. That breaks it out of the main nav, and makes your life easier. – dennislees Mar 24 '14 at 15:28
  • I agree however right now, the restriction is in the required format of the pages which fall within a strict template. I can't just append the ui from one page to another. It's partly due to technical requirements. Too much load. So my options are kind of limited. – Pdxd Mar 24 '14 at 16:39
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As it seems you building a 2-dimensional filter, couldn't you do something like this:

enter image description here

It's basically a top nav with a sub nav where the top nav defines which sub nav items should be available (which removes impossible combinations).

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