ProblemThe users need to navigate a hierarchical structure
SolutionBreak up the hierarchy in two separate page layouts
Hierarchal structure that consists of 4 levels, content on levels 2-4. Split navigation is a variation of Directory Navigation
. It's important to quickly switch between pages on levels 3 and 4. There is no need to quickly switch between pages on levels 1 and 2. No content on level 1
The hierarchy is broken up in a start page and a topic page.
The start-page contains levels 1 and 2 (links) of the hierarchy. By clicking a
link, one can navigate directly to a level 2 topic page. This "topic page"
contains an index with levels 3 and 4. All textual information is shown on
this topic page. Users can switch between pages on levels 3 and 4 by
clicking on the index links. Additionally, Breadcrumbs
are used to give feedback about the structure and to go back to the first page.
By breaking up the hierarchy in two page layout the first level is basically chopped off after the first selection. The result is a 3 level page that is easy to navigate. The bread crumb allows the users to go back to the first page.
This example from the monsterboard shows the Topic page complete with bread crumb.