Tree Navigation Design Problems and Alternatives To It

Neha Gupta | 29th June 2018

Navigation is one of the essential element in user experience design. Good navigation allows users to open your app, find their way around and reach where they want to reach or see.


Tree navigation is the common approach we follow. This allows for access to a hierarchical structure. In this navigational view, we have at the top the root node which is also called as a parent. The lines which connect the elements are called branches and children of the parents. It displays vertically and has plus minus icons to show the opening and closing of the folders.


Problems with using Tree Navigation

  • Navigating folders require multiple interactions
  • Small nodes require a lot of mouse-click precision within a tree navigation.
  • It is difficult to see where you have come as it becomes cluttered.


Alternatives to using Tree Navigation

Accordion menu
An accordion is an outline design which when clicked grows to uncover data.
Suppose you have a side panel which has different navigation choices inside it. One of these may be ‘Inbox’. Whenever clicked, Inbox drops down to uncover other navigation conceivable outcomes, for example, ‘New’, ‘Sent’, ‘Trash’.
They likewise spare space which goes far in boosting the ease of use, particularly on mobile phones.


Mega menu
Mega menus are very productive. Normally a mega menu will be comprised of vast panels which incorporate groupings of navigation alternatives. They’re drop down, so user float over a segment to uncover the menu.
Since mega menus are large so it is easy to categorize the content. It improves the usability and ease of access.


Sliding hamburger menu
A slide menu is also called hamburger menu because of its icon representation.
The slide menu is an element found in numerous applications and sites on mobile phones yet it’s regular to see it on sites, as well.
When utilizing sliding menu, avoid putting any essential links or pages inside it for fear they may go unnoticed.


About Author


Neha Gupta

Neha is an experienced UI/UX Designer. Also have hands-on Branding, both digital and printed. Worked on different projects including design of cryptocurrency exchange, mobile app, wireframes, and improved UX.

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