Navigation Patterns depend on the structure of the application content. Navigation patterns can be combined with command patterns and content patterns to design the complete layout for your application.
Patterns for Desktop User Interfaces
Patterns for a Flat Content Structure
When pieces of application content are not grouped, the content structure is flat.
Examples include a playlist, a slideshow or a list of documents or contacts.
Patterns for a 2-Deep Content Structure
When all application content are grouped into top-level categories, the content structure is 2-deep.
Examples include picture albums, music albums, email folders or tags.
Patterns for a 3-Deep Content Structure
When all application content are grouped into categories, which are themselves be grouped into top-level categories, the content structure is 3-deep.
CautionContent structures this deep should generally be avoided.
There are instances, however, where it may be difficult to avoid. Examples include a full music or video library or system settings.
Patterns for N-Deep Content Structures
When content is infinitely groupable, the content is n-deep.
CautionContent structures this deep should be avoided. It is very difficult for the user to maintain awareness of their location in content structure relative to other content.
There are instances, however, where this structure cannot be avoided. Examples include file systems and archives.