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Options menu Usability

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A menu is a window that presents a list of commands to the user. A menu is arranged into lines, known as menu items, each of which contains a text label. Menu provides a convinient way to navigate between different forms and views in a application. When a user selects a menu item, the appropriate command is invoked and depending on that command user can select different view or create new form. The Options menu is a menu list displayed in a pop-up window. It is activated by pressing the Options soft key. (Options is the default value of the left soft key.)


Some guideline to design a good options menu are:

  • Menu should not cover whole screen of the application. Ideally it should not conver more than 70% screen of the application.
Good option menu example


Bad option menu example

  • The content on the screen outside the menu pop-up should be dimmed.

Good option menu example

Bad option menu example

  • Text is preferrable than icon in a menu item.
  • It should provide scrollbar if all item in a menu are not visible at a time.
  • Add sub-menu to item if it has additional additional choices to display.
  • Hide menu item if its functionality can not be used. for example no need to show delete menu item if list does not contain any item.
  • Use navigation key default action(s) to navigate between different menu item and sub-menu.
  • Provide Context-sensitive menu if required. Context-sensitive menus are secondary menus that are typically launched by pressing the Selection key (as opposed to the primary Options menu accessed via the left soft key). These menus are sensitive to the currently displayed view, and furthermore can be sensitive to the internal state of that view.
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