Oracle Usable Apps | Applications User Experience Simplicity, mobility, extensibility
Customer Role: How User Experience Research Is Conducted
The Navigation pattern group contains patterns for dashboard navigation, charts and graphs navigation, and record navigation.
The Dashboard Navigation pattern enables you to define a primary navigation model for the Business Intelligence (BI) dashboard and other BI applications. You can navigate between different dashboards, navigate to external applications, navigate between tabs in a dashboard, and so on.
Required Screen Elements Return to Top
Component Type
Required Component
Subpage Tabs

The tabs enable users to create logical groupings of metrics and reports, based on domain, task, and workflow. Tab navigation is a standard way to navigate between these logical groups.

Navigation Links

Links enable users to access a new page or a section within the dashboard. The links can also be used to open external Web sites and documents.


Icons are used as a navigational aid within the dashboard. Icons can also be used to trigger actions defined in the dashboard.

Drop-down Lists

In certain scenarios, drop-down lists play a critical role in grouping a set of navigation links. Drop-down lists enable users to save screen areas and provide a logical grouping to the links.

Header Links Return to Top

Header links provide access to multiple dashboards defined in the system. By default, these links align in the header region.

  • Keep the header area clean. Use a small number of links on a Home page to reduce the cognitive load of the user.
  • Ensure that the header region contains no more than seven links to other dashboards.
  • Be brief and clear when naming the links. Do not use abbreviations.
  • Arrange the links either in alphabetical order or in the order of preference of usage.
  • Avoid using two rows for the header links.

Here are some examples of header links:

Figure 1: Header Links

Figure 2: Avoid Multiple Rows for the Links

Figure 3: Avoid Long Names for the Links


Here is an example of the standard interaction of header links:

Figure 4: Interaction of Header Links

Sublinks Return to Top

Sublinks appear if too many hierarchy levels are defined in the BI applications. Use sublinks if you need to provide access to more than 10 to 15 dashboards from a single view. However, you should usually avoid this complex grouping. In cases where you cannot minimize the number of dashboard links, consider the following:

  • Filter the number of links in the header region based on the user roles. Users do not need to see links to pages that they can't access.
  • Because the main header links do not provide any visual cue to the hidden menu (for sublinks), you should use a special character while naming the dashboard links, such as ">" . The use of a special character differentiates the links with a submenu from those links without a submenu.

Figure 5: Sublinks of Header Links

Tab Navigation Return to Top

Tabs provide an effective way to group information in the dashboard. Organize information to reduce the number of tabs in each dashboard. The optimal number of tabs under each dashboard is seven. Tabs provide users with easy navigation to various logical groupings of reports and charts.

You should name the first tab "Summary." This tab should contain high-priority metrics and reports along with a summarized view of the information given on other tabs.

You can include links to open other tabs in the same dashboard on the summary page and to open reports on the summary page. Here is an example:

Figure 6: Possible Links to the Tabs of the Summary Page

Links to External Applications Return to Top
Many information dashboards and BI applications contain links to external applications. You can provide static links to external applications or dynamic links, such as RSS feeds and ticker feeds. You should place these links in a designated region with a title signifying the nature of the links. For example, you could place related links and external documents in a region titled Related Links or Resources.

These links should never open the external applications, Web pages, and documents in the same window unless you have a special need to do so.  |  About Oracle  |  Careers  |  Contact Us  |  Legal Notices  |  Terms of Use  |  Your Privacy Rights