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Use with caution: Available
Tabs organize related groups of content within the same hierarchy into parallel views that a user can easily navigate between.


GI Bill Comparison Tool

GI bill comparison tool tabs

Facility locator mobile view

facility locator mobile tabs


Because tabs stack horizontally or wrap to a second line, they’re not an optimal design solution for mobile viewports. In some cases, using 2 tabs (only) to present a set of complementary options is acceptable.

When to use tabs

  • To group 2 to 3 pieces of related content that the user doesn’t need to read at the same time.
  • To allow the user to easily toggle between a binary set of options, like Search by name/Search by location or View list/View map.

When to consider something else

  • Consider using a single-select accordion to display one chunk of content at a time.
  • If your content is hierarchical and/or sequential, consider using a single page of well-formatted headings and body text.

Behavior and design

  • Allow the user to click anywhere on a tab to select it.
  • Make sure the selected tab is highlighted and visually connected to the content below it.
  • Never let a row of tabs wrap to a second line.
  • Keep the interaction design simple. Document selected and not selected tab styles along with the focus state for each style. Hover and active states are optional for tabs.

Content considerations

  • Keep tab labels succinct and use plain language. Labels should be 1 to 2 words.
  • Use sentence case for tab labels.

Accessibility considerations

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Last updated: Apr 21, 2022