Information on using a category list for site navigation

We use a category list as the secondary level of navigation on the site. Each item in the list represents a content category related to the overall topic, allowing users to narrow down their search for relevant information.

Items are displayed in a grid format which conveys visual order in the design of the page and allows for maximum use of space. Small screen devices would require the items to be stacked for readability and adequate tap space should be assigned to each item to aid accurate selection.

Tiled menu with first tile showing the hover state applied.

Design Theory The use of listed items in a grid format allows users to scan the content and make a selection in a similar way to using a tiled menu. Because of this it has similar advantages to tiles such as being visually appealing, easy to navigate, incorporate interactive states and allowing returning users to remember locations.

This type of list view enables visual distinction between each item, whilst also allowing maximum content to appear on the page.

Usage Category items are suited to the use of short text labels which describe the specific subjects. Category lists have a flexible use, either linking to relevant content or leading to the third and final level of navigation for more concentrated filtering of content.

This type of navigation works particularly well when combined with tiled and list forms of navigation on large sites, bridging the two types and facilitating the idea of a natural progression through content for users.

The category list is the second of three levels of navigation used on the site, with a tiled menu being the primary form and a standard list being the third level.


All text included on category lists should be readable by assistive technology such as screen readers and each item must be operable by a keyboard in addition to a mouse.