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The usefulness of an application can depend on the quality of its menu systems. If you invest planning time in your menus, users will accept them readily and learn them quickly.

While designing your menu system, consider the following guidelines:

  • Organize the system according to the tasks users will perform, not according to the hierarchy of programs in the application.

    Users can form a mental model of how the application is organized by looking at the menus and menu items. To design these menus and menu items effectively, you should know how your users will think about and accomplish their work.

  • Give each menu a meaningful title.

  • Organize menu items according to their expected frequency of use, their logical sequence, or their alphabetical order.

    If you can't predict the frequency and can't determine a logical order, then organize menu items alphabetically. Alphabetical ordering is particularly effective when a menu contains more than eight items. With so many items, the user spends time scanning them; alphabetical ordering facilitates scanning.

  • Put separator lines between logical groups of menu items.

  • Limit the number of items on a menu to one screen.

  • If the number exceeds the length of a screen, create submenus for appropriate menu items.

  • Choose access keys and keyboard shortcuts for menus and menu items.

    For example, ALT+F could be an access key for a File menu.

  • Use words that clearly describe the menu items.

    Use common words rather than computer jargon, and use simple, active verbs to indicate what actions will result from choosing each menu item. Don't use nouns as verbs. Additionally, describe the menu items using parallel construction. For example, if you use single words for all the items, then use the same part of speech for all of them.

  • Use mixed upper and lowercase letters in menu items.

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JavaScript Editor js editor     Web development