I am working on a project with many information, navigation menu with submenu. I am little cofused. Which of these case is right? In the first case: When i select the "products" the menu appears left to content.

In the second case i have the navigation menu with the submenu, and when i select one category of submenu then appears the submenu left to content.


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And the second case without sub menu

enter image description here

  • 2
    Well there is no "right" way and since we don't have any context (e.g., who, why, what, etc.) it's hard to give you any constructive feedback. You're basically asking if it is ok to have a primary navigation drop-down menu AND local navigation on accompanying sub-pages.
    – erik_lev
    Sep 8, 2014 at 20:46
  • @lineplay thanks for the repsponse. Maybe it is hard to give me any constructive feedback, but i am little cofused. How i can explain you better? Sep 8, 2014 at 21:43
  • 2
    Perhaps you can provide a few use cases and task flows, along with more representative images, to help clarify your question. Sep 8, 2014 at 21:54
  • @EvilClosetMonkey i update my first post. Now, is more clearly? Sep 8, 2014 at 22:22

1 Answer 1


While it's difficult to give the best possible answer without knowing how many products and product categories you have, there are some fundamentals of menu design and IA that can be touched on here.

Your first example will result in a less good experience for the user. When the primary navigation is a single link (no dropdown), the expectation is that the click will lead to a category landing page with a list of products. (like this one https://www.globalsign.com/products/) In your first example the user will expect a products page and land on a page that seems to be about oranges. Then they have work out that this is one of several products and that there are others which can be accessed via secondary navigation. Too much thinking required by the user here.

Your second example is the better of the two, because the dropdown allows the user to bypass the need for a 'Products page' and go directly to a specific product. The dropdown also sets a better expectation of what products exist, so the secondary navigation has more meaning when they see it.

Here are some recommendations:

If you have a lot of products (~6+)

Consider having a single 'Products' link in the primary navigation, but creating a category landing page that lists all your Products. Use secondary navigation on the individual product pages. How feasible all this is will depend on how many products and product categories you have, but this is a reliable and conventional approach.

If you only have a few products (~>6)

Consider a setup like in your second example, where the 'Products' link in the primary navigation is a dropdown listing all products. User secondary navigation on individual product pages.

  • thanks for the responce and your feedback. The above is a scenario. My problem is that the submenu has long worlds like : "Timeshifting shareholder contribution", very big for sub menu. essentially eco-economic project. Sep 9, 2014 at 9:21
  • That sounds like a different problem, and your question is shifting. More of a design/presentation problem, and not a very big problem. Your first task should be to work with subject matter experts to make sure that these labels are as short as they can be. If you've got a list of long (2-3 words) menu items, then that's should drive the design of your menu. The column holding the menu may need to be wider, or the spacing between the menu items greater. You should edit this question to reflect the question you're really trying to answer.
    – dennislees
    Sep 9, 2014 at 10:31
  • @denisless i update the description of problem with my project. I am sorry. Sep 9, 2014 at 13:48

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