In what cases would tabs in web UI be considered sequential and/or hierarchial?
In What Cases?
Any time you can make a credible argument for rationalizing it.
A popular navigation menu format is descriptive , of course:
- What We Do
- Who We are
- Why We Do It
- How We Do It
There’s an implicit story to this structure.
If you can make it explicit (“When We Do It”, for instance), then you have a sequence of sorts.
Create a narrative and you have a sequence.
To have an interaction pattern that is both Sequential AND Hierarchical (at the same time) is pretty rare, I expect. From a user interface perspective: More often than not the patterns would be nested, one set of tabs ‘under’ the other.
Most “choice-based” menus are hierarchical.
- They show logical organization and structure (i.e. categories)
- But you may still wonder what to do
A ”story-based” menu is usually sequential.
- We often communicate meaning and guidance through a story (s.a. “how to”).
- The story goes a long way towards making the choices accessible.
It’s kind of like programming: A driving (sequential) purpose, with some IF/THEN (categorical) statements throughout the process.
You’ve got a Story. You also have Choices. Which are explained by stories.
Someone comes to your website. They might just dive in and start making choices. Or perhaps they look at “Why We Are Here”. It provides context and a story. Links in the story take them to different choices.
Stories and Choices: The Best of Both Worlds
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