Version 12 (modified by Dominic König, 13 years ago) ( diff )


BluePrint: Application Menus


Application menu here references to the menu of the particular application ("module menu").

Currently, all these menus provide different item classes, and different orders of item classes (goals).

To make things worse, the item order is also often very different from other common software which is typically used by our users (e.g. Office programs, Email clients, Browsers).

To reduce the learning curve, and to enhance usability, the application menus should follow a common standard.


Looking at common office applications, we usually find something like:

File | Edit | View | ... | Settings | Help

where File is the main resource of the application, and usually provides the options:

  • New
  • Open

This is what users are used to, and could therefore be a guideline for the design of our application menus.


  • maximum desirable menu depth is 1 (=no subitems to menu items)
  • common general menu structure (=order of items) for all applications
  • common labels for common actions, e.g.:
    • "Requests"=>"Create Request", "Hospital"=>"New", "Person"=>"Add Person" should better be:
    • "Request"=>"New", "Hospital"=>"New", "Person"=>"New"

Design Suggestion 1

The critical point is the common structure (=order of item classes) in all applications:

First item(s) are the main resources of the application:

+-- New
+-- Open (which goes to search, could therefore be renamed into "Find" to make it clearer)
+-- List All
+-- ... (other resource methods)

Then the non-resource goals, e.g. Report:

+-- Goal1
+-- Goal2
+-- ...

Then user-specific settings (if available):

+-- Config1
+-- Config2

Dashboard-type views, if available, can be added to the Resource items (if they are resource-specific) - or can be a separate item before Help (if they are all-application relevant).

And finally Help as a single clickable item, which goes to a user-guide for this application with clickable action items.


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