trees bad for navigation

4 Dec 2005 - 12:49pm
8 years ago
4 replies
580 reads
russwilson
2005

Can anyone point me to an article I remember
seeing arguing *against* trees for navigation?

Thanks!
Russ

Comments

4 Dec 2005 - 2:14pm
Russ
2005

Hey Russ,

It could be:

Why is a tree view a poor navigational choice in software applications?
http://ripul.blogspot.com/2005/09/why-is-tree-view-poor-
navigational.html

Hope that helps,

Russ :-)

On 4 Dec 2005, at 17:49, Wilson, Russell wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Can anyone point me to an article I remember
> seeing arguing *against* trees for navigation?
>
> Thanks!
> Russ
>
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4 Dec 2005 - 9:33pm
jbellis
2005

Yes, trees are bad, except when users want to sort and then access
information hierarchically.

And alphabetical indexes are horrible, except when users need to access
information by keyword.
Full text search is hideous, except when users need to access words that no
one took the time to keyword index.
Date order is repulsive, except when users need to find something
chronologically.
Popularity order is obnoxious, except when users want to find the same thing
that everone else needed in the last few days.
Geographical order is bad, except when... and so on and so on.

It's time to stop thinking for users and start insisting that they get all
the tools the technology has to offer, irrespective of the blog's #12, ease
of implementation. There are approx 6 fundamental orders of information and
as a user, I want both functions and data sorted by all of them.

Information is irrepresibly hierarchical. After users learn the mental
model, the tree view is the ultimate power that the technology has to offer.
The trick is not making it the sole, initial map.

www.jackbellis.com, www.usabilityInstitute.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "Russ" <russ9595 at gmail.com>
> Why is a tree view a poor navigational choice in software applications?
> http://ripul.blogspot.com/2005/09/why-is-tree-view-poor-
>

5 Dec 2005 - 12:25pm
Rajesh Sidharthan
2005

Is it fair that we all hate the poor tree so much?
The tree is good for representing heirarchy. There are a lot of tools
effectively using the tree.
Like any other means of navigation, the tree has its own advantages and
disadvantages.

As interaction designers, we should be aware of the good and bad sides
of the tree and use it with just.
Maybe we would not end up taking the tree out of our tool box that often.
But leave it in there.. :-)

Wilson, Russell wrote:

>[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>Can anyone point me to an article I remember
>seeing arguing *against* trees for navigation?
>
>Thanks!
>Russ
>
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>
>

5 Dec 2005 - 5:13pm
jbellis
2005

Robert,
With my statement, "It's time to stop thinking for users..." I suppose I was imprecise and should have said:
"It's time to stop presuming that we know which of the many orders of information a given user needs at any point in time."

As an extreme example, I'm still waiting to see a complex software app that makes functions available in date-of-release order... so the equivalent of release notes is embedded into the functionality.

Regards, www.jackbellis.com, www.usabilityInstitute.com

----- Original Message -----
From: Robert Hoekman, Jr.
To: jackbellis
Sent: Monday, December 05, 2005 11:13 AM
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] trees bad for navigation

If you're not thinking for your users, you're only thinking about yourself. And you are very rarely an accurate representation of your target audience.

-r-

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