On mobile, the preferences page dropdowns can be a little confusing

When you go to /preferences/account on mobile you see two dropdowns, one called “Preferences” and one called “Account”.

  1. It’s not clear which one of these has priority. (The right one is dependent on the left one).
  2. There is a “Notifications” subsection under both of them.
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How so? Left drop down mobile menu is topnav, right drop down mobile menu is subnav. Like so. I apologize for the hideousness of my diagram, but I think this does make the relationship clear.

So it is logical that the left mobile drop down menu is primary and changes the right menu, in left-to-right languages at least.


I agree that it makes sense for the left to be the primary, but they’re the same color and size and vertical level on the screen so the relationship between them isn’t immediately intuitive the same way it is on desktop.

As a user who selected a gearbox on the right side of the screen and ended up there likely still looking somewhat at the right side of the screen, it feels just as reasonable for Account on the right to be the primary section with Preferences on the left being a subsection of that.

I can confirm that I found this confusing the first 1-2 times I used the preferences on mobile but once you realize the logic, it’s okay. The problem is that in order to realize the logic, you kinda need to be familiar with the structure of the web-UI, which is much more intuitive (see however this suggestion). And, one might add, you need to be consciously familiar with menu-logics in general.

I didn’t report this because I couldn’t think of a better way of doing it (and I still can’t, though perhaps colours could help convey the notion of menu and sub-menu. e.g. depending on on which menu-item you select , the colour of the sub-menu drop-down changes?) but I fully agree that the mobile UX of the user preferences page is sub-optimal.


Yeah that’s sort of the problem, isn’t it? I am in no way tied to this specific implementation but we’d need a reasonable alternative to change it to.


I’d be very happy to clarify the menus here, because I also feel like the double dropdowns are a bit odd. I’ve thought about this a little recently and also ran into the “can’t think of a better way to do it” issue.

I initially tried a horizontal scroller like our admin area on mobile:


but we end up losing this hierarchy for various different inbox archives, which feels worse