I am designing an application where the user has a data grid of records and different types of notification: new mail, new tasks, new issues, new assignments. The user can click on the data grid and the user is taken to a record specific page. The navigation and notifications become contextual for that record. I'm fighting with providing some kind of obvious feedback that the user is in a new space-the local record space vs. the global space.

Any ideas on how I can provide this feedback other than just showing a colored box around the local record?


  • Could you give us a sketch or image of what you have in mind right now? Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 8:11
  • Could you expand local record space and global space? Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 14:15
  • The title doesn't seems to be inline with the question you are asking. What is setting vs scope? Per my understanding, user clicks on a row, and it navigates to a new page. Are you referring a dedicated screen as a local? And grid screen as global? Do you have different contextual actions for grid, single row, multi row and details page? Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 17:43
  • Don't know exactly what you mean with global vs. local. Do you mean a recordset (a collection of items) and a record (an individual item) ?
    – roetnig
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 14:12

3 Answers 3


I have a few ideas, based on what the UI looks like:

You could use color to designate the distinction; make the local areas look slightly different from the global setting. This can also help the users tell the different local settings award form each other (mail->blue accents, tasks->yellow accents, etc.).

Maybe rethink the grid, and turn it into a sidebar (or more subtle navigation menu) when the user navigates to a local setting.

Make the header in a local setting look substantially different from the global setting. Maybe there is no header in global mode?

  • Color coded headers and specific colored icons are elements I use to diferentiate local sections (or subsections) from the global elements. Commented Apr 27, 2017 at 15:11

What about labeling the local record-specific page with a title that includes the word "Detail" - for example "Details for Record XXX"? If needed you could place a link before the title to return to the global space.


Your notifications should drive your user flow. If specific records are marked with new task, new message, etc., users will click there and expect to see relevant feedback on how the notifications connect to the records.

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