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I have a navigation bar on a page that has a bunch of links on it. The links all show various information on a user's "job" (nevermind precisely what this job is). However, depending on the state of that job, not all links will be relevant (e.g. if the job is still running, the "results" link would not be relevant).

How should this be communicated? I have thought of three options:

  1. Hide the links
  2. Disable the links (greyed out)
  3. Have them be clickable, and display a message on that page explaining that the info is not available.

Edit: The user creates their own jobs. They can create as many as they like. I am using the Bootstrap navbar component if that helps http://getbootstrap.com/components/#navbar.

  • Can you provide more information or a screenshot perhaps. How is the user's job selected and how often does it change? Can the user change his job or is it assigned? – Igorek Nov 5 '15 at 17:22
  • Is this a primary or secondary navigation bar? Vertical or horizontal? – luchomolina Nov 5 '15 at 22:13
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If the user has access to other users' navigation that shows a full set of options, thus setting an expectation that a link would appear in a particular place, then the unavailable ones should be disabled.

If the user only sees her navbar and is not expecting to see any particular navigation options, then I would hide the irrelevant links.

I would absolutely not force the user to click on a link that is going to take them to something that is not useful or helpful.

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    I completely second that. You might get further information by researching "catalog filters optimization" as well - often the question pops up "do I need to show the filters that are not available for users right now?" - yes, you should. Why? Users, that already saw that there are filters they could use and now they cannot, they will feel like they are missing. This topic is clearly about "meeting expectations" to me. – Jan Nov 6 '15 at 13:38

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