Categories/Items As Table Version this Page
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The Categories/Items As Table pattern is appropriate when the user needs to drill down through a hierarchy of categories that leads to a large list of items. Presenting the items in a table view works well when the number of items grows too large for the user to easily scan the list or causes the page to scroll. When the user drills into the item, the item appears with detailed information in the same manner as with the Categories/Items pattern. Items listed in a table can be easily compared (see the Compare pattern set).

Pattern Set Decision Table
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  Categories/Items Categories/Items
As Table
Categories As
an Accordion
How many levels of hierarchy for categories exist? 3 2 3
What is the maximum number of levels that appear in one view? 3 3 3
Is a description required for categories? Yes Yes No
Do items appear in the first level? Yes Yes Yes
What is the maximum number of categories allowed to appear in one view? 1-2 1-2 3-4
Can you select and act on multiple items? No Yes No
Pattern Samples
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Items Displayed in a Table

Figure 1. Table displaying a large set of items in a category
Required Screen Elements
Component Type Mandatory Components Customizable or Extendable Components
Page Title

Use this format: <Category Name>

For example: Software

Table A table that contains a list of items NA
Related Guidelines
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Tables The principal method for displaying and interacting with data
Headers Guidelines relating to the use of page headers (as well as subheaders and sub-subheaders)
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