I have an application which edits Heirarchial data.
Consider Level 1 items of Projects, Users, etc.
Now lets just consider Project for the sake of simplicity, and Projects are really driving this conundrum.
Project +-Job | +-Tool Assemblies | | +-Edit Assembly | +-Activities | +-Invoices | +-Edit Job +-Budget +-Vendors +-Vendor #1 Prices
The story for editing the assembly is:
- Select Projects
- Choose a project from a list of projects
- User is presented with a of project level items (Jobs, Budget, etc)
- User selects Jobs to see the list of jobs for that project.
- User is presented with a list of jobs.
- User selects a jobs.
- User is presented with job level items (assemblies, activities, etc)
I want the user to know that assembly 50, is part of Job 10, which is part of Project 'Beta', at all times. The user will spend most of their day performing various tasks withing that Job. Closing the application/site, and opening again should bring the user back to that Job they were previously at, so when re-open the application/site they need the visual that they are in Project Beta/Job 50/. This is the context for all the actions the user performs.
Breadcrumbs would be the traditional way of solving this likely:
Project Beta -> Job 10 -> Assembly 50
This would show the user their current context. But I am trying to envision how they change jobs? projects?, etc. A tree would answer those questions, but I find a tree instantly makes the application feel more complicated....
Basically I am trying to envision the simplest way to represent to the user what context they are operating under (e.g., Project Beta -> Job 99, or Project Beta -> Job 99 -> Invoice 77, etc).
edit: I removed the comment about bread crumbs feeling dated. I am not a UX expert... or even very good at it, that is why I am here to get help.