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The navigation in the admin is accomplished through several partials that pass around regexes to determine what the "active" page is. This is both confusing to debug and difficult to modify and improve.
Our lack of structure in this area comes across to users of the system as things aren't necessarily in a logical place. For example, this PR addressed an issue where navigation items were being duplicated under different hierarchies.
Running through a site architecture exercise should allow us to:
I've started recruiting admin users for a cart sort that should help us organize the admin better. Will post back here when I have some results. We're looking for admin users, not developers that code on the platform. If that sounds like you or you know of anyone who wouldn't mind spending 10 - 15 minutes of time, please forward.
I looked at the results of the cardsort and saw that while there were some obvious moves and label changes, there was also some items that were split between being located in settings vs products. I ran another type of test, called a tree test where the navigation was set, and users were given tasks to follow to see if they went in the right direction.
Again, not everyone thought the same way, but in creating a consistent convention of how we organize the navigation we should be able to account for the mental models of both groups.
I've created a new navigation in a google spreadsheet with highlights for label changes. The new navigation is based around a structure where 'set it and forget' items (for example, things that end in 'types', 'categories', and 'methods') get created in 'settings' and then specifics for those get set in their respective section of the nav (for example, under orders and products). It's seems to be intuitive for about half of users, and the consistency should make it easier to learn by those it's not intuitive for.
I do think the admin UI would benefit from a few more helpful links to other sections, but I'll save those for new issues. I've submitted another PR #1276 for the label changes as a precursor to this. If all that is required here is moving menu links around in all of the partials I can do that too, but I totally understand if the people with more programming knowledge want me to stay out of it. I'll leave it to @graygilmore to decide as he's the one who created the issue.