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
  • etc

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.

Anatomy of a Redesign

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.


For example:

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



© The Communication Studio LLC