Need help with a directory style menu

20 May 2009 - 9:14am
5 years ago
1 reply
546 reads

Okay, I've managed to design myself into a corner and need help
getting out. I'm working with a maps database that allows the user
to create nested folders for organization. I'm limiting them to two
nested folders, but even so, this creates a situation where some
folders merely contain other folders.

I designed the main maps page as a directory so that you're always
one click away from a list of maps, e.g.,:

Topographic maps (5) - link

Political maps - not a link
- County maps (7) - link
- City maps (4) - link

However, when I get into these pages, I'm stuck on how to deal with
the navigation. I started with a left-hand scrolling menu containing
the full directory, but I'm afraid there's not enough horizontal
space to make this readable -- some of the folder names are long and
I'm obliged to use indents for the nested folders.

The client currently uses dropdown menus in the breadcrumbs, which is
weird and not entirely satisfactory. But I'm not sure my solution is

I think my basic premise might be wrong but I'm having trouble
digging myself out. Or maybe there's some nifty way of treating my
menu that I haven't thought of.

Any clues will be much appreciated.


20 May 2009 - 10:48am

Hi Kim,

This is of course the most simple thing that comes to my mind, but
think about removing words that are not necessary. I know that you
just gave your example as an example, but if I'm on a site about
maps I may not need maps in the name. Things like that may help

One concept that my team went with, but never got to really think
through, was using tags instead of folders. This solved the problem
of everything having to be in one "home" so to speak and allowed us
to bubble up attributes/characteristics of the data the the user might
be looking for. I'm not sure this will help but hopefully it sparks
other ideas. Good luck!!


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