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I'm working on a workflow application (web) in which users work on projects.

  • Each project consists of a workflow of tasks, which can be nested to an arbitrary level (subtasks).
  • On a single nesting level, the tasks are ordered in a process.
  • Tasks can be in parallel and in series.

Users need to be able to navigate through the workflow from their current position. For that we use:

  • A navigation tree
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Links to preceding/succeeding tasks on the same level

This is a mockup:

enter image description here

Given this structure, are the breadcrumbs redundant? What is the best practice for doing both up/down and "left/right" navigation in a hierarchy for such a case?

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In my opinion breadcrumbs are not redundant (given the little space they take). Why don't you close the tasks and subtasks that do not belong to the hierarchy the user is using?

Try to use different symbols (like icons or colors) to highlight the route. Following your example: "Project1" could become a title, while now it is a folder. Subsubtask too should be other symbols (the idea is that they are items, files, in the folder). Moreover maybe you can use colors to help users to understand where they are

enter image description here

  • Nice @marco-1. "Subsubtask too should be other symbols (the idea is that they are items, files, in the folder)" -> The idea is that nesting can continue indefinitely, so subsubtasks can have subsubsubtasks of their own. "Leaf" tasks do have distinct icons indeed. – t.hendr Feb 16 '16 at 13:36
  • well this complicates a bit :) Generally speaking, leaving all this freedom of choice to users could result in a bad UX. Anyway,if you have a good web developer, it could be beautiful if a "leaf" could change icon (becoming a "branch") automatically when a subtask is added in it. – Marco Tatta Feb 16 '16 at 18:32
  • The users don't build this "task tree" themselves, a user in an administrative role (who is trained in building these structures) does that. – t.hendr Feb 18 '16 at 8:03

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