If we talk about the navigational models of complex systems, there are not so many ways to organize them. But these methods are based on combination of two facets.
The first facet of navigational systems classification distinguishes them by formal interconnections between screens or pages. Basically, there are three types of models by interconnections:
- Hierarchical model — the model, where all entities are organized in a hierarchy.
- Linear model — in this case, entities are organized in a linear process of execution of the workflow. Some conditional deviations are allowed, but basically the movement is step-by-step.
- Non-linear model — the model, where entities are more or less independent but connected by local means to support context-dependent workflows and dataflows.
Most systems combine all types.
The second facet is a classification by semantics. In this case, the primary structure of the navigation model is based on data types or activities.
- Data model — entities are distinguished by types of the data. It is quite popular method of organizing informational systems or admin panels.
- Activities model — in this case the data types are not so important, while general groups of scenarios are defined and the system is organized with them.
There are other types of semantics, like organizing the system by steps or stages of activities, or organize the system by state of the environment, but they are derivables from these types, and are not used as primary means of navigational system.