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In the application I am designing, I have 4 entities, customers, contact, employees and organizations.

Each of these entities has their own profile.

Within each of their profile's there is an extensive navigation, and due to the nature of the business, the navigation menu's are unique to the entity type.

My question is, what is the best way to order the navigation items.

Here are my thoughts:

Option 1) Frequency of use

Option 2) Similarities (eg. Finance and Orders close to each other)

Option 3) Alphabetically

If each entities navigation was the same, I would probably pick a combination of"option a" and "option b". But because each navigation menu is different, and also has 10-15 itemms, I'm leaning towards "option 3".

What are you thoughts/recommendations?

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The problem looks to me like it can be solved using Closed Card Sorting technique

It's a well-known, quick and inexpensive activity for guiding information architecture work.

Some quotes from the article:

The process involves sorting a series of cards, each labeled with a piece of content or functionality, into groups that make sense to users or participants.

... card sorting “can provide insight into users’ mental models, illuminating the way that they often tacitly group, sort and label tasks and content within their own heads.”

By analyzing the card sorting data, you would then have a glimpse into the users’ mental model, which in turn can increase findability, and make the navigation easier to use.

As for the three options you presented, have a look as well on this related question on this site.

Hope it helps.

  • Thank you, this is a very new process to me, but I definitely see the advantages. Cheers! – Mark Jun 24 '14 at 22:51

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