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I'm creating a new menu for a web site which consists of several labeled icons which when clicked give a drop down sub menu. Due to the content, some of the main menu options do not necessitate a drop down so instead will direct users to that landing page.

Without some way to designate which menu option drops down and which doesn't, is this setting me up for a bad user experience? I'm inclined to think it is because the user may click a menu option expecting to get a sub menu but is instead redirected to another page without being forewarned. Although, even after landing on the new page they will still have the same menu.

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I agree this is somewhat problematic. A user may expect a menu, but be taken to a page without warning. Or the reverse might happen: they won't realize that there are subcategories to some of the menu items, so they won't discover all of the content of your site.

You should be able to solve this with visual cues to differentiate the two types of icons. For example, a small arrow pointing down when there is a menu:

mockup

  • The majority if not all of the options are drop downs. I was afraid that the options that werent drop downs would seem random to users, even though there is a reason for it being that way. But they dont know that. I'll build in some visual cues. Thanks again. – Jeff Oct 17 '14 at 10:52

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