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I was wondering what was the best practice when having a menu that could point to a page, but contains sub categories.

Here's my case :

  • Contacts
    • Listing <-- This is my issue
    • Additional fields
    • Sub category
  • An other category
  • Etc

In the first draft, I named "Listing" => "Contacts", which is absolutely redondant and not great at all. I hesitate with "List"/"Listing"/"All", but this doesn't feel right at all.

I thought about when the user clicks on the main category "Contacts", he is redirected to the list of contacts AND the sub category drops down, but if the user only wants to go to "Additional fields", he will be redirected twice. Again, absolutely not great!

So I'm lost. What would be a great alternative ?

  • This question is confusing to me. It would help to describe what "listing, additional fields and subcategory do", and also whether "contacts" is visible. Despite JohnGB's valiant attempts at improving the articulation, it feels like a poorly articulated and poorly illustrated question. Using "Another category", "Etc" and "Sub-category" is a very low-quality/lazy way of communicating what your UX does. – tohster Feb 17 '15 at 19:24
  • Lazy is a strongest and absolute wrong word. The reason is because there is no increased value of adding the real elements. – Cyril N. Feb 17 '15 at 19:38
  • The value of adding the real element is, it provides design context. Using 'Contacts' and then putting in dummies doesn't provide any sense of orientation for the menu (e.g. is the next choice 'Calendar'? 'Home Page'? 'Add New Contact'?). A sloppy question will unfortunately result in sloppy answers which helps neither you nor the community. – tohster Feb 17 '15 at 20:01
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Your intuitions have merit -- if it is confusing to you as a developer to have two menu items of the same name, rest assured that it would also be confusing to your users. In this case, the word "View" or "View All" can be used to enumerate this action, for instance:

  • Contacts
    • View All
    • Additional Fields
    • Sub Category

I would also hesitate to make your top-level "Contacts" item an action. Depending on the host platform and other consistencies throughout your application, the user may expect the top-level menu item to only expand when clicked; therefore, it may be un-expected that the main menu item "Contacts" takes the user to a page.

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  • I support your statement that it’s very important to keep consistencies throughout your application but I wouldn't go so far as to say that the "Contacts" item shouldn't be per se an action. Rather triggered by a click @Cyril N. should consider using the hover event to display further links (e.g. see Amazon 'Your Account'). – ITJ Feb 17 '15 at 17:38
  • @IsgerJanson That's assuming of course, that it doesn't need to work on a touch device :) – Roger Attrill Feb 17 '15 at 18:42

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