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Mobile App Navigation: An In-depth Guide to Creating It

Mobile app navigation

Mobile app navigation is more than what a vehicle’s headlights do when driving a car in the darkness. It doesn’t help you make the next move but also guides you to find the features and functions for what you want to do with the app. Naturally, mobile app navigation is not just important from the perspective of user experience and consequent user retention but is also crucial for business conversion. 

How can app developers create the most intuitive navigation that ensures an effortless and smooth user experience? This blog post will explain the different types of mobile app navigation and how to create them for a superior app user experience. 

Gesture-based Navigation

Gesture-based navigation is widely used as touch screens allow users to swipe to get things done. The tinder app offers an excellent example of how with right and left swipes, users can do different things and achieve different results. 

It is a popular type of navigation since users find making touch gestures and swipe natural to their user experience. What matters most is how intuitively you can use this natural interaction in the context of app user experience.

Hamburger Menu

The idea of putting the navigation menu under a drop-down hamburger icon is too well known. This menu design concept has pros and cons, but how it has standardised the way menu items can be put in one place without cluttering the screen is much appreciated.

In many ways, it brings an ideal all-inclusive navigation design to put together all menu items in one place. Those three lines in the corner of the screen have already become part of the design convention, and users can quickly identify them as the area where they can find all their menu options for going to other app pages. 

Navigation Tabs

The navigation tabs on top of the android app screen and bottom of the iOS app screen are standard and highly conventional in their approach. Because of ease of access and platform-specific design, they are popular among Android and iOS users. 

Tab navigation sometimes is also used alongside the burger menu and other types of navigation. Tab navigation mostly suits apps requiring users to switch between pages or activities. The email apps like Gmail are an excellent example of this type of navigation.

Navigation Sidebar

mobile app

Sidebar suits apps with many categories or an extensive list of menu items. Since this navigation allows you to show the icons and navigation items in the proper place, you can ensure optimum visibility for them. 

Usually, this type of navigation suits apps that want to make users click on certain menu items intuitively, resulting in business conversion. 

Floating Button

Floating navigation icons bring a design idea that priories the on-screen content and helps users get maximum exposure to what they read or watch. The most significant advantage of this navigation is the minimum space it consumes on the screen. 

On the other hand, this type of navigation also comes with some disadvantages, such as distracting the users when consuming content. This is why using floating buttons should always be limited to a few pages. 

Sub Navigation

This type of navigation focuses on segregating the entire navigation path into various subcategories. This type of navigation generally suits large applications with too many pages, contents and categories. Amazon app offers an excellent example of this type of app navigation. 

Whenever an app has too many categories and when many of these categories further break down into a multitude of sub-categories, this type of navigation just fits in. This navigation’s benefit is avoiding overwhelming the users with too many things simultaneously. 

Voice Navigation

app navigation

Using voice for navigating in an app still needs to be widely used, but since voice control and voice search is getting popular, voice navigation is just on its way to making a significant mark on the app navigation scene. 

When you can tell users to speak up searching for anything, and they find it entertaining and beneficial for their user experience, this navigation design becomes successful. Since using voice for searching items and other purposes is popular mostly among young adults, apps with similar target audiences should use it. 

Full-screen Navigation

While most modern navigation designs focus on interfering with the screen space as little as possible, this navigation just goes the opposite way and uses the entire screen. 

This navigation can be tricky if you need help handling it well with a simple layout. The only benefit this navigation offers is the ease of finding what users want with a little effort.

Navigation Grids

When navigation items are presented through grids on the screen denoting a variety of categories, it simultaneously offers users a sense of making their own choices while grabbing attention to specific items more prominently. 

An excellent example of this type of navigation can be found in the Spotify app. One can use different typefaces and colour schemes for exploring menu items or different categories in an intuitive manner. 

Navigation Through the Search Function

Some users just want to search for the items they need instead of exploring the navigation menu. For these users, search navigation works well. To put things tightly in this context, designers should equip the search layout for maximum interactions and equip it with a rich set of search filters. 

Summing It Up

All the different types of mobile app navigation that we explored here don’t guarantee that by using any of them, you can uplift the user experience of your app. The deciding factor is how creatively you can make navigation work to bring down users’ efforts and boost their satisfaction. You must also make a diligent choice based on your app niche and target audience.

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