Archives For Ajax

This is the third article in a three part series on patterns and principles for RIA design.

      Standard Screen Patterns: 12 patterns w/100 examples
      Essential Controls: 30 controls for RIA design and development
      Common Component Patterns: 15 patterns and examples

Odds are good if you are designing a enterprise software or a productivity web application, you’ll need a number of these components. Don’t spend time and effort on (re)designing these ancillary features- try these solutions instead.

15_common_components2

01. Add Another

component_add_another_wufoo1
Wufoo (button)

component_add_another_gmail1
Gmail (link)

Requirement: Need to offer multiple input fields for the same thing, but unsure how many the user may need
Example: Add attachments, enter phone numbers, upload photos…
Description: The “add another” link or button should be in proximity to the field, and the remove option is shown an attachment is added, and only one “add another” link is shown at a time. No need to show the remove button until at least one entry is shown.

02. Add/Manage Tags

component_add_tags_highrise
Highrise (inline edit)

component_add_tags_mint
Mint (dialog)

Requirement: Need a way to add non-structured meta data to an object that can later be searched
Example: While adding recruits to a CRM system, the recruiter wants to note applicants’ interests and hobbies
Description: Place the tags in close proximity to the object being taggged. Allow for direct adding of additional tags and editing. You can take the 37signals approach and let users type in any tags they want- running the risk of duplicate, misspelled or overlapping concept tags. Or use Mint’s approach and let users select from the existing list of tags, and/or add new ones.

03. Add/Edit or Select from Existing

componenet_add_edit_select
Highrise

Requirement: Need to pick from an existing option, add a new option, or edit an existing option
Example: Recording receipts for household expenses, and there is not a category for pet/vet bills. Add a new category for “pets”, which will now show up as an option in the list
Description: Place the option for “add new…” at the bottom of the options. Open a new dialog or light weight layer to add the new option. Place edit to the right of the list box, edit can be a new screen or dialog for editing all the options.

04. Advanced Filter

component_advanced_search1
Mission 360 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Requirement: Need to refine the data set based on specified criteria
Example: In a bug tracking system, a developer needs to see all bugs assigned to him, in the last 24 hours, related to the production system, containing the term “feedback”
Description: Provide a dynamic filter field and offer an advanced filter option, where the user can specify criteria for refining the data set. Allow the criteria to be saved (usually as a ‘view’), that can be accessed again. Note* Luke W. has a great article describing multiple techniques for refining data tables.

05. Build a List (aka Accumulator)

component_build_a_list_linkedin
LinkedIn

Requirement:Need to create a list from an existing set of options
Example: Invite some of your friends from your existing list of webmail contacts, or build a list of hot prospects for a sales campaign
Description: When a user needs to select items from separate sets of search results or other large, unwieldy data sets- let them manipulate the left (search, sort, navigate or filter), and add to the right.

06. Build an Expression (aka Predicate Editor)

component_build_expression
Wufoo

build_expression
Mac OS predicate editor inspired web versions of this component

Requirement: Need to define a set of conditions that build on each other.
Example: Complex search or building a report filter, or building a mathematical function
Description: Design it so the expression can be read, left to right, top to bottom. Each line can be edited, removed, or deleted, and possibly rearranged in order.

07. Contextual Toolbar

component_group_tools_picnik
Picnik

Requirement: Need to perform an action that has multiple input parameters
Example: Analyst needs to apply a discount to all the rows in a table, clicks the ‘discount’ tool. The discount options: discount percent [10%] or flat rate discount [$0.00], are then provided.
Description: Group the actions in a toolbar, and as one is selected, disclose the input parameters. Offer a live preview if applicable.

08. Customizable Data Grid

component_configure_datagri
Flexigrid demo

Requirement: Need robust data grid from viewing, editing and manipulating data
Example: A CRM system with contacts displayed in a table/data grid
Description: Offer simple and advanced filtering, ability to directly resize columns, ability to directly rearrange columns, hide/show columns, sorting. If also providing editing, provide a toolbar that includes undo and redo actions.

09. Drag & Drop Reorder

component_drag_drop_list
Basecamp

component_drag_drop_reorder_cogmap
Cogmap

Requirement: Need to reorder a text list, visual map, or tree because the order is indicative of priority or hierarchical relationship
Example: To-do list, org chart, tree
Description: Make sure to follow the interaction principles for all the states of drag and drop management, most importantly providing a visual cue the list can be rearranged, like the drag handles in the examples. Refer to Bill’s Interesting Moments Grid for implementing the interaction properly.

10. Full Screen

component_fullscreen_picnik
Picnik

component_fullscreen_radedi1
RadEditor Demo

Requirement: Need more real estate for core functionality
Example:Editing a photo, designing a work flow, navigating a map
Description: Place the toggle in the top left corner (make sure it remains in the same spot and visible even in the full screen mode). The branding and top level navigation can be hidden in this mode. Don’t add any more elements into the full screen mode- just enlarge the workspace.

11. Graph Drill Down

component_graph_hover_wesabe
Wesabe

component_graph_hover_dundas
Dundas Charts

Requirement: Need to show a summary view and allow a quick and efficient drill down to view more details, instead of navigating deeper into the graph
Example: A specific datapoint has multiple sets of information available. The main graph could show sales volume by sales person over time, and the hover detail breaks it down by new versus existing clients
Description: Provide a visual indicator (like a dot) that hover details are available. Use a non-modal layer to display the next level of data.

12. Live Preview

component_live_preview_fidelity
Fidelity MyPlan

component_live_preview_mint1
Mint Savings Finder

Requirement: Need provide live feedback on changing criteria
Example: Graphic designer altering the hue of a photo needs to see the effect as he adjust the value
Description: Provide easy to manipulate controls, and an “apply” and “cancel” options, or “revert” feature.

13. Slide Down

component_slide_down_retail
RetailMeNot.com (inline)

component_slide_down_weightwatchers
Weight Watchers (overlay)

Requirement: Need to show more details, or input details
Example: Reading an article in a list of articles, scan the first paragraph and want to read more, or read the comments.
Description: Expand inline or overlay without leaving the page or opening a new window/dialog. Use smooth transitions and a fixed height scroll window like RetailMeNot. Provide the close link in the same spot.

14. Split a Transaction

component_split_transaction
Mint

Requirement: Need to allocate a single item across multiple categroies
Example: Dividing a transaction (ex. allocating a 50% of a donation to one recipient, and 50% to another recipient, or $2.00 as a fee, and $200.00 as cash withdraw)
Description: Split button placed unobtrusively in the transaction detail pane, could also be a tool in the table toolbar, enabled when a row is selected. Opens a dialog allowing the user to re-allocate the data as needed.

15. Switch To

switch_to1
Basecamp

switch_to_zoho
Zoho

Requirement: Need to infrequently navigate out of one module into another without returning to a control panel, dashboard or dock
Example: Working in one project, finish and need to work on another one
Description: Make the switch less visually prominent than the main navigation, but still easily accessible (top right or left, above the main menu).

30 Essential Controls

February 4, 2009 — 28 Comments

This is the second article in a three part series on patterns and principles for RIA design.

      Standard Screen Patterns: 12 patterns w/100 examples
      Essential Controls: 30 controls for RIA design and development
      Components for Commonly Requested Features: 15 patterns and examples

Every designer has a set of controls they rely on to communicate an effective UI. This is my library of essential controls.

30_essential_controls

Unfortunately, no single RIA framework offers all 30 of these. So I included a checklist of which frameworks provide each control. If you have an addition or correction, please e-mail me, and I will post an updated framework/control matrix.

ria_frameworks

The frameworks reviewed include: Flex, Laszlo, Silverlight and 12 Ajax frameworks and toolkits: ExtJS, Dojo, YUI, Google Web Toolkit, Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery, MooTools, MochaUI, SproutCore, LivePipeUI,IT Mill, Backbase.

01. Auto Suggest

auto_recomend

Google’s Auto-Complete

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, ExtJs, Dojo, YUI, Google Web Toolkit, Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery, MooTools, MochaUI, IT Mill, Backbase, Silverlight.

02. Carousel (variation as Coverflow)

carousel_ex

Carousel Prototype carousel widget

Supported by: YUI, Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery, ITMill, Backbase, iCarousel

coverflow_ex1

Coverflow MediaEvent Service’s Slideflow

Supported by: Flex, Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery, MooTools, RadControls for Silverlight

03. Charts & Graphs

graphchart_wesabe

Charts Advanced charting features like hover details, drill down, rolling windows, toggle views…

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, Dojo, YUI, Google Web Toolkit, Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery (SWF/Chart), MooTools, MochaUI, Backbase, SilverLight, AnyChart, Dundas, JPowered, JFreeChart, OpenFlashCharts, Flot, Plotr, PlotKit, WebFX, AjaxMcGraph, Measure Map.

04. Collapsible Panels (accordion, disclosure triangles, slide drawer)

collapsible_accordion

Accordion Mutually exclusive collapsible panels showing status

disclosure_arrows_mint

Disclosure arrows Mint.com uses disclosure arrows for summarizing and displaying accounts

collapsible_sliding_fluxiom

Sliding panel Fluxiom uses a sliding panel instead of a dialog to show the selected photo’s details

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, ExtJs (called panels), Dojo, Google Web Toolkit (disclosure panel), Prototype/script.aculo.us (accordion), JQuery, MooTools (accordion), MochaUI (split pane), SproutCore (split pane), IT Mill, Backbase (accordion), RadControls for Silverlight (PanelBar and Sliding Panel).

05. Combobox (select multiple, alternate list box UI, editable)

combobox_multiselect_livepipe1

Select multiple LivePipe UI’s control takes less space and is easier to scan than an ocean of checkboxes

combobox_multiselect_ex1

Alternate listbox UI Best alternative for multi select in small spaces, clearly displays all selections, and provides an easy way to edit

Supported by: Alternate Listbox UI, LivePipeUI

combobox_editable1

Editable combobox Editable combobox allows for lookup and/or text entry

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, ExtJs, Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery, MooTools (MUI.ComboBox), IT Mill, Backbase, RadControls for Silverlight.

06. Date Picker/Calendar (select range, date/time combination)

datepicker_jquery

Advanced calendar Select a range, discontinuous dates, or exclude a certain day

date_time_picker_ex3

Date/time picker Select a date and time in a single control

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, ExtJS, Dojo, YUI, JQuery, Scal built on Prototype, MooTools, MochUI, IT Mill, Backbase, Silverlight, dhtmlxCalendar, keyboard accessible calendar, more examples on Woork

07. Dialogs (modal, light weight, lightbox)

dialog_modal1

Modal dialog Mint offers a modal for adding an account

dialog_modeless

Modeless dialog Google Maps provides a modeless dialog for getting directions

dialog_lightbox_jquery

Lightbox JQuery provides a lightbox plugin, a modal dialog that blacks out the parent screen

Supported by: Flex(modal), Laszlo (modal and modeless), ExtJs (modal), Dojo (modal and lightbox), YUI( listed under Containers: Modal and Overlay), Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery (modal, modeless, lightbox) , SproutCore (has a really nice example of each under ‘panes’), MooTools, MochaUI, LivePipe UI, IT Mill, Backbase (modal and modeless window), Silverlight (modal and lightbox).

08. Docking

ria_frameworks

Dockable menu Campaign Manager by eyeblaster offers a pinned/unpinned menu for navigating between campaigns

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, ExtJs, Dojo, YUI, Google Web Toolkit, Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery, MooTools, MochaUI, LivePipe UI, Backbase, Silverlight.

09. Drag & Drop Manager

drag_drop_extjsdrag_drop_extjs_drop

Drag and drop ExtJS photo organizer demo

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, ExtJs, Dojo, YUI, Google Web Toolkit, Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery, MooTools, MochaUI, LivePipe UI, Backbase, Silverlight.

10. Dynamic Filter

dynamic_filter_flex

Dynamic table filtering Flex offers a filter feature that dynamically filters the results while the user types, demo

dynamic_filter_rico
Dynamic column filtering Dynamic filtering can be implemented at the column level providing advanced filtering capabilities
Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, ExtJs, Dojo, YUI, JQuery, IT Mill, Backbase, Silverlight, Open Rico

11. Feedback/ Status

ria_frameworks

Feedback Gmail status message

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, ExtJs, Dojo, YUI, Google Web Toolkit, Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery, MooTools, MochaUI, LivePipe UI, IT Mill, Backbase, Silverlight

12. Fisheye/ Spotlight

fisheye_alpslab

Fisheye Apslab Fish-eye Lense

Apply this concept to a dense chart or map for a truly useful feature.

Supported by: Flex, ExtJs (spotlight), Dojo , Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery, MooTools, MochaUI, Silverlight

13. Gauges (and other visual progress or status indicators)

gauge_citibank
ria_frameworks

Gauge Thermometer gauge in RadControls for Silverlight

Gauges provide a concise visual summary in heads-up-display or other goal directed designs

Supported by: Flex (various plug-ins and Flex Charting), ExtJs (combined with GWT), Dojo, Google Web Toolkit, Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery (SWF/Gauge), MooTools, MochaUI, Silverlight, AnyChart, Dundas

14. Help Tip/ Quick Tip

help_tip1

Quick Tip Picnik engages new users with some helpful advice

More than just a tooltip, these are fully formatted messages typically presented in a modeless dialog.

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, ExtJs, Dojo, YUI (use overlay container), Google Web Toolkit (use popup panel), Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery, MooTools, MochaUI, LivePipe UI (use window control), IT Mill, Backbase, Silverlight

15. Hot Keys

ria_frameworks

Hot keys Balsamiq Mockups has hot keys for frequent actions

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, Mochui, LivePipe UI, IT Mill, Backbase, Silverlight

16. Hover Action

ria_frameworks

Hover action Instead of cluttering the screen with redundant actions, Basecamp reveals the edit and delete actions onHover

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, ExtJs, YUI, JQuery, MooTools, MochaUI, Backbase, Silverlight, good post by Bill on hover actions and missed moments

17. Hover Detail

ria_frameworks

Hover detail Netflix hover details

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, ExtJs, Dojo, YUI (overlay), Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery, MooTools (smart hover box), IT Mill, Silverlight

18. Inline Edit

inline_edit_flickr

Inline edit Instead of showing form fields in pages that are usually read (not edited), Flickr provides inline editing

Supported by: Flex (only in the grid), Laszlo (only in the grid), ExtJs, Dojo, YUI, Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery, MooTools, MochaUI, IT Mill, Backbase (only in the grid), Silverlight (only in the grid)

19. Progress Indicator/ Loading

loading_picnik

Progress indicator Picnik loading indicator

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, ExtJs, Dojo, YUI, Google Web Toolkit, Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery, MooTools, MochaUI, LivePipe UI, IT Mill, Backbase, Silverlight

20. Rating

rating_graffletopia

Star rating Graffletopia offers one-click star ratings for shared stencils

Supported by: ExtJs extension, Dojo widget, Starbox for Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery, MooTools , MochaUI

21. Record Locator/ Paginator

record_locator_lls

Record locator Like the control in PDF Viewer, the record locator lets you navigate through records in a dataset or skip to a specific record by name

paginator_yahoo

Paginator Typically used for paging through tables, screens, or other result sets

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, ExtJs, Dojo, YUI, Google Web Toolkit, Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery, MooTools, MochaUI, LivePipe UI, Backbase, Silverlight

22. Slider

slider_innography

Slider Innography provides sliders in their quick filter for refining results displayed on a chart

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, ExtJs, Dojo, Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery, MooTools, MochaUI, IT Mill, Backbase, RadControls for Silverlight

23. Scoped Search

scoped_search_vimeo

Scoped search Like iTunes, allows for the optional selection of a category before entering free form search text, example from Vimeo’s help page

Supported by: custom css and js code, example at Janko at warp speed, RadControls for Silverlight

24. Sparklines

sparklines_retailmenot_goodcouponsparklines_google_analytics

Sparklines Great way to show the “shape” or trend of data is a small space, examples from RetailMeNot.com and Google Analytics. Created by Edward Tufte.

Supported by: Nuby on Rails, Any Chart, JQuery plugin, Flex , and two more ones for Flex at Microcharts and Birdeye, Google API, Visifire for Silverlight

25. Table/ Data Grid ( scrolling, editable, grouped)

table_scrolling_extjs1

Scrolling table Endless scrolling, no paging, just like a desktop app, example from ExtJS

table_cell_editing_blist1

Editable table Blist offers inline cell editing in their products. Best practice, highlight the selected row, and only display an editor in the selected cell. Don’t forget to accomodate keyboard navigation.

table_grouping1

Tree table Grouping by row, displays as a tree table, example from ExtJS

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, ExtJs, Dojo, YUI, Backbase, Silverlight

26. Toolbar

toolbar_sugarsynctoolbar_flickr1

Toolbar Provide actions in proximity to the object, examples from SugarSync and Flickr

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, ExtJs, Dojo, YUI, Google Web Toolkit, Prototype/script.aculo.us, JQuery, MooTools, MochaUI, Backbase, RadControls for Silverlight

27. Vertical Browser

vertical_browser_apple

Vertical browser Apple’s vertical browser for exploring Dashboard widgets

Supported by: custom code of multiple list boxes

28. View Toggle (buttons, button bar)

view_toggle2

Toggle buttons Separate buttons for switching between graph and grid views Campaign Manager by eyeblaster

view_toggle_paypal

Toggle button bar Single button bar for capturing binary choices

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, Dojo, YUI, JQuery, MooTools, MochaUI, Backbase, Silverlight

29. WYSIWYG Editor/ Rich Text Editor

wysiwyg_wordpress

Rich text editor WordPress offers a a WYSIWYG editor for blogging

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, Dojo, YUI, Google Web Toolkit, JQuery, MooTools, MochaUI, IT Mill, Backbase, Silverlight

30. Zoom

zoom_jqzoom

Zoom Zoom in on a certain spot, example from jQZoom

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, ExtJs (spotlight), Prototype/script.aculo.us (zOOm), JQuery, MooTools (Joomla), MochaUI, Silverlight (silverZoom)

Bonus- Desktop Style Container

desktop_container_otherinbox

Desktop style app OtherInbox built with SproutCore

A desktop style container isn’t actually a control, but frequently required when developing enterprise software and productivity web applications. Many of the frameworks that offer this feature include built in windows management, split panels, and fluid layout.

Supported by: Flex, Laszlo, ExtJs, YUI, JQuery, MochaUI, Backbase, SproutCore, Silverlight

Send me any corrections and/or additions, and I will upload an updated control/framework matrix.

Thanks to Joonas Lehtinen of IT Mill, Ryan Johnson of LivePipe, and Peter Svensson who is a Dojo expert, and Darren James, co-author of Ajax in Action.

Update* Cody Lindley at jQuery provided a

Updated in 2010: 15 Standard Screen Patterns with examples from 80+ current web applications.

To celebrate the release of our new O’Reilly book, “Designing Web Interfaces: Principles and Patterns for Rich Interactions”, I want to share an additional set of principles and patterns I have been using for RIA design. While the book takes a much more consumer web site orientation, these concepts are central to enterprise application and web productivity application design and more broad than those discussed in the book.

This is the first article in a three part series.

      Standard Screen Patterns: 12 patterns w/100 examples
      Essential Controls: 30 controls for RIA design and development
      Components for Commonly Requested Features: 15 patterns and examples

standard_screen_patterns

With more companies turning to RIA frameworks for enterprise software development, these screen patterns are indispensable for product managers, UX designers, information architects, interaction designers and developers. The patterns rely heavily upon desktop design principles, subtly blended with many of the better RIA components and principles. I’ve included 100 examples to illustrate these patterns, pulled from desktop, Flex/AIR, Ajax, Laszlo, and Silverlight applications.

01. Master/Detail

Master/Detail screen pattern can be vertical or horizontal. Ideal for creating an efficient user experience by allowing the user to stay in the same screen while navigating between items. Horizontal layout is a good choice when the user needs to see more information in the master list than just a few identifiers- or when the master view is comprised of a set of items that each have additional details. Click on thumbnail for larger image OR download the PDF.

02. Column Browse

The Browse screen pattern can be vertical or horizontal. Ideal for creating an custom user experience by allowing the user to start from various entry points for navigating to the item(s) they are interested in.

03. Search/ Results

The Search screen pattern can range from very simple to quite advanced. Ideal for creating an efficient user experience by allowing the user to navigate directly to an item or set of items meeting specific criteria.

04. Filter Dataset

The Filter Dataset screen pattern can be vertical or horizontal. Ideal for creating an efficient user experience by allowing the user to refine a set of known data, or further refine search results.

05. Forms

All Form screens should be approached with a solid understanding of usability and design best practices. Refer to “Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks” by Luke Wroblewski for reference.

06. Palette/ Canvas

The Palette/ Canvas screen pattern is seldom the right pattern to apply, but it is the only pattern for documenting or creating: linear or non-liner processes; flow diagrams; screen layouts; design/diagram with physical size or layout constraints.

07. Dashboard

A well designed Dashboard will provide: key information at a glance, real time data, easy to read graphics, clear entry points for exploration This is typically not achieved by displaying a single screen of metrics (either in a big table, or just a bunch of graphs). Providing a high degree of customization is no substitute for user research and testing. Stephen Few has a nice book on this topic Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data .

08. Spreadsheet

The Spreadsheet screen pattern is ideal for creating an efficient user experience by allowing the user to easily scan, edit and enter information (in bulk). The Spreadsheet should provide the following functionality: standard table features like sort, hide/show columns, rearrange columns, group by (if applicable), global level undo/redo, add/insert/delete row, keyboard navigation, import and export.

09. Wizard

The Wizard/Quick Start screen pattern is ideal for creating an efficient user experience by guiding the user through a complex or infrequent workflow.

10. Question & Answer

The Q&A screen pattern is ideal for creating an efficient user experience by allowing the user to enter known information and receive a solution. Q & A differs from Search in that this pattern should be used to assist users in identifying possible options or a single recommendation in an arena they are lacking expertise (health insurance, mortgages, planning, purchases).

11. Parallel Panels

The Parallel Panels screen pattern can be stacked (showing one at a time) or unstacked (showing all at once). This pattern is ideal for organizing chunks of information that are similar or have interdependent tendencies. Efficiency is gained by keeping the user in one screen. Ideal candidates for the stacked variation of this pattern are simple work-flows with: a high level, visible goal that is fed by multiple inputs, multiple non-sequential steps. This combines a number of the web site patterns outlined in “Designing Interfaces” by Jennifer Tidwell for a single pattern for chunking and displaying data.

pp_ex4

12. Interactive Model

The Interactive Model screen pattern is characterized by many interactive elements associated with the key object (a calendar, map, graph, chart, canvas). It is ideal for creating a user experience that is closely aligned with the user’s mental model (a natural fit). Excellent candidates for this pattern are: calendars, maps, gantt charts, what-if scenarios (including calculators), WYSIWYG editors (including photo editing).

Bonus. Blank Slate

This is the natural state of the application, before any data has been entered or accessed. The book, “Getting Real” by 37signals”explains that a blank slate screen is an excellent place to set users expectations. By giving them a preview this can lower anxiety and reduce frustration and confusion. Items to include in a blank state screen include: videos, quick tutorials, help tips, a screenshot of what a fully loaded screen will look like.

Missing Patterns?

Noticeably absent are two patterns that are grossly overused and misused in enterprise software- portals and tabs.

  1. Portals- If your market research, business requirements and user feedback lead you to design a portal, follow the same design principles and best practices as the Dashboard pattern.
  2. Tabs- Tabs are a component, and ultimately not a screen pattern. They are to alternate between views of data in the same context. If the data structure is leading you to a tab heavy UI design, I have two suggestions. First, reconsider the IA. Use card sorting and/or hire a professional Information Architect to help you for a few days. Second, follow the same design principles and best practices as the Parallel Panels pattern.

You can download a PDF of this post which includes full descriptions of each pattern, as well as best practices.


References

If you are looking for web site design patterns, here are a number of excellent books: