Our software allows some users to be over several "Properties" (Pharmacies or teams) for those users we need a way to represent in the main menu that they can switch between any of their properties at any time. Some menu items are property dependent and some are independent (titled "General") is there a better way to represent this to the user other than the just supplying a dropdown above the property dependent menu items?

A rough example

Selecting a property

  • What exactly are you asking here: 1) is a drop-down selector the correct interaction to switch between business locations? or 2) how do we indicate that some menu items are not available for the selected business location? or 3) something else?
    – dnbrv
    Feb 13, 2015 at 23:52
  • 1
    Is there any more industry standard way switching property based menu items? I can't think of too many web apps that have a dropdown on their main menu to change how that menu works. It almost feels wrong.
    – nduvieilh
    Feb 14, 2015 at 0:17
  • Google Analytics? They use a DIV that is stylized as a drop-down.
    – dnbrv
    Feb 14, 2015 at 0:21
  • Uhhh is this what you mean?: Users need frequent access to specific items related to say "a team". Because users may belong to multiple "teams", they need a way to access this info for each team. Is a dropdown menu that switches the options on the main menu a good way to approach this problem in a web app?
    – nightning
    Feb 14, 2015 at 0:21

3 Answers 3


Using a drop down in your main menu is not really an advisable pattern. How frequently a user needs to change this property/pharmacy? If this is your main menu then chances are he will want to work on one particular property for good amount of time. If your user is constantly changing pharmacies to perform operations, then I think your IA needs to be revisited.

Assuming that your user works for some time on the page, here is what I came up quickly,

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Your main menu should be focusing on a single property always. If users change their properties rarely, you might think of moving that to user profiles too.


Drop downs hide information that should readily be accessible. So in this case you could have a horizontally ordered list if the options are less in number say 5 or 7 at the maximum.

Consider this to be your primary navigation. The one selected should maintain a different state so as to indicate the user where they are. Use a color to indicate this grey out the rest.

Also you could have this in two steps. First the drop down is displayed in full when the user has not made a choice and once they do. You can collapse this to be at the top like it is now and show the options beneath it. This would need a lot of custom styling.

The second option is the best and fastest if time and money are factors at the moment.


What do you have in the main screen? Do you already have a Navigation Menu or bottom Tab bar. If not you could use one of these to show those context specific items like dashboard, sales report, team viewer.

User can switch his pharmacy or use general items in menu. Thus non frequent items hde in side menu and context specific but always needed items are in navigation or tabbed menu.

Did I get the question right?

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