What we have in this release of our eCommerce software (e shop), is a simple table view with filterable search and pagination in an admin panel for managing product taxonomies. Taxonomies have a hierarchy which can be up to 4 levels deep and at most 1000 items. For some technical reasons we cannot use a tree view.


Admin user wants to find a taxonomy through this grid to :

  • edit node
  • delete node

(Node creation is not in our scope because it can be done through a form in which the user can specify a parent node, while defining a new taxonomy.)


In my research, I found a question which does not address my specific problem, but is relevant: Taxonomy Hierarchy Management UI Pattern

Solution A

Showing hierarchy in a column as navigation breadcrumbs: showing hierarchy in a column as navigation breadcrumb

Solution B

Showing hierarchy in title column as indent: showing hierarchy in title column as indent


What is the best UI/UX solution for displaying taxonomies hierarchy in simple grid list(table view)?


4 Answers 4


I think your second option is going to get confusing when the users will start using the sort functionality, you will lose the visual hierarchy between the elements.

I would go for the 1st option.


I would recommend sticking to Solution A.

Not only does it look consistent, but also happens to cause lesser confusion with Indentations.

You wouldn't want the User to stress out reading the different levels of Indentations. Remember, they aren't programmers to distinguish between indentations. Also Solution B lacks consistency and the hierachy doesn't make sense and will require a briefing before getting the user to play.

  • 1
    What's your opinion on problem with space? If there'll be like 5 levels of taxonomy, Solution A will take up so much space that it might not be possible to fit it in the window. Sep 9, 2015 at 15:55
  • Easy. It will only show X levels up. So, say if it happens to be root>digital goods>a>b>c, only show up ...a>b>c. Still better than Solution B. Sep 9, 2015 at 16:15

I vote in favor of Solution B, as its more compact layout, leaves room to work with spacing and colours to enhance the communication of taxonomy.

But, since your case involves thousands of items with 4 levels, I would suggest you also consider something interactive like a Zoomable Partition Layout. enter image description here


I would suggest the second one (grouping). And when user clicks on the sort, I would sort the rows based on Group Headers (Digital, Tablet). Optionally one could even sort the rows within the Headers based on the sort order defined at the Group Header level.

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