Here is a summary of the responses I got about hierarchical tree design for
My original posting
I’m working on the UI design for a web app that will include at least one
page having a tree hierarchy in the left nav panel and an information
display area in the main content area. In “View” mode, when a user clicks
on a node in the tree hierarchy in the left nav panel, detailed information
about that node appears in the main content area. I’m looking for
suggestions about how to design this without frames, since using frames is
definitely not intuitive to users.
The environment constraints my product team has:
1) Windows platforms only
2) IE for sure; Firefox, if I can convince the team to support both.
4) No client-side Java; server-side Java is OK.
5) No .net
6) No .asp
Comments/suggestions/visuals? Send them my way.
Claudia Case ([log in to unmask])
Hierarchical Tree Designs - Products and Examples
TwinHelix Design’s CheckTree- http://www.twinhelix.com/dhtml/checktree/
SoftComplex’s Tigra Tree Menu -
A List Apart - http://www.alistapart.com/
Responses from CHI-Consultants and CHI-Web
-- for something much like what you want to do. It's free, and works quite
well. It works fine with Windows and Mac, and IE, Firefox, and Safari.
I've built my pages with frames, where the tree view is in a narrow frame on
the left-hand side of the page and the document being viewed (it's HTML,
with the clicks in the tree view jumping the document from one anchor to
another) in a larger frame on the right. I share your general hesitancy
about frames, but in this case I think it's ok
-- despite the frames, the page conceptually represents a single document,
and users move into and out of this "document viewer" as a unit.
Jim Miller ([log in to unmask])
tree menu that unfolds without opening a new page. I think the user will
expect the tree to behave like it does on Windows platforms (using the + and
- signs to tell the user that the folder is open/closed). I can send you a
working example if you like because I did something like this last month.
Ivo Gomes ([log in to unmask])
You might want to take a look at CheckTree:
http://www.twinhelix.com/dhtml/checktree/ and see if it does what you need.
There's a online demo at: http://www.twinhelix.com/dhtml/checktree/demo/
Mitchell Gass ([log in to unmask])
I think the standard way to approach this now is to use nested <UL> lists,
and style them into menus with CSS.
Google "CSS navigation" and you should turn up lots of resources.
Try A List Apart too: http://www.alistapart.com/
You might want to check the "Tigra menu" product. Notice that they call it
"menu" but, as it has levels, con also be termed "tree".
There is a tree example at:
It works with "all" browsers.
The advantage I see is that it can be configured to look and feel much like
a regular desktop Windows tree gizmo.
There is a complementary online menu building service.
Juan Lanus ([log in to unmask])
Claudia Alden Case
Alden Case Enterprise, Inc.
phone: (650) 592-4675
email: [log in to unmask]
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