Submenus

A submenu is a group of related menu items that appears as a subset of a menu item in the full menu. By including items in a submenu, users can find frequently used items or important items more easily in the full menu. Submenus typically include the following types of actions:

  • sending items in multiple ways (for example, sending a picture in an email message, an MMS message, or as an audio postcard)
  • sorting, searching for, finding, and filtering items in different ways (for example, filtering messages by sender or subject)
  • changing views (for example, day, week, or agenda view in a calendar)

Action

BlackBerry devices with a trackpad only

BlackBerry devices with a touch screen and a trackpad

When a menu item is highlighted in a full menu, display a submenu.

  • Click the trackpad.
  • Move a finger to the right on the trackpad.
  • Press the Menu key.
  • Press the Enter key.
  • Tap the menu item.
  • Click the trackpad.
  • Move a finger to the right on the trackpad.
  • Press the Menu key.
  • Press the Enter key.

Choose a menu item from a submenu.

  • Click the trackpad.
  • Press the Menu key.
  • Press the Enter key.
  • Tap the menu item.
  • Click the trackpad.
  • Press the Menu key.
  • Press the Enter key.

Close a submenu.

  • Move a finger to the left on the trackpad.
  • Press the Escape key.
  • Tap outside the submenu.
  • Move a finger to the left on the trackpad.
  • Press the Escape key.

Close a submenu and a full menu.

Press the Escape key twice.

  • Tap outside the full menu and the submenu twice.
  • Press the Escape key twice.
  • Open or close the slider.

An arrow appears when submenu items are available for an item in the full menu.

Figure 1. A full menu item with an arrow
This screen shows an example of a full menu item with a scroll arrow indicating that the item has a submenu associated with it.
Figure 2. A full menu and a submenu
This screen shows an example of a full menu item and the submenu associated with it.

Best practice: Implementing submenus

  • Use the Submenu subclass to create submenus.
  • Use submenus to reduce the number of menu items in the full menu. For example, if users have to scroll to see all the items in a full menu, group some of the menu items in a submenu.
  • Group related items in a submenu. For example, if "Sort By" appears in the full menu, group "Date," "Name," and "Subject" in a submenu.
  • Consider grouping advanced features in a submenu. For example, use "Additional Options" in the full menu and group the options in the submenu.
  • Avoid using submenus for only one or two menu items.
  • If a submenu includes more than six items, consider grouping the items into two sections in the submenu. Place the menu items that are frequently used at the top of the submenu, insert a separator, and then order the rest of the items alphabetically.
  • If a menu item requires users to do more than click the item (for example, if a user has to specify a date), open a dialog box.
  • Avoid including frequently used menu items or important menu items in submenus.
  • Avoid implementing a submenu from a submenu.

Guidelines for labels

  • In the full menu, use concise, descriptive labels that clearly define the action. Users should not have to open the submenu to understand the meaning of the item in the full menu.
  • In the full menu, use verbs for labels. Use nouns only if the meaning is clear. For example, if "Email Accounts" appears in the full menu, group each email account in a submenu.
  • Avoid repeating verbs in submenus. For example, avoid using "Sort By" in the full menu and "Sort By Date" and "Sort By Name" in the submenu.
  • Use title case capitalization for labels. Capitalize the first word in the submenu even if it is a preposition. For example, use "Send" > "As Email" instead of "as Email").
  • Avoid using the term "More" in the full menu unless the location of the menu item clearly indicates what "more" refers to. For example, if "Inbox," "Outbox," and "More" appear between separators in the full menu, group additional options associated with a mailbox in a submenu.
Next topic: Create a submenu

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