Nirmi Shah
Written By Nirmi Shah Design - Team Lead

Mobile App Navigation: A Guide to Building an Intuitive Experience

post date
May 30, 2023
Mobile App Navigation A Guide to Building an Intuitive Experience
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Imagine using a mobile app that is feature-packed, but scattered around. And you don’t find the necessary features conveniently. It is highly likely that you will stop using the app as soon as possible. But if the app was intuitive to navigate, you would probably reach the final step.

Mobile app navigation plays a crucial role in engaging the user. Developers follow the industry’s best practices to make mobile app navigation as seamless and intuitive as possible. In this guide, we will talk about the importance of mobile app navigation, and some popular navigation patterns, and guide you through the fine lines of navigation. Let’s begin.

What is Mobile App Navigation?

Navigation in the general sense means getting from one point to another. When it comes to mobile app navigation, users should have a clear roadmap from entering the app to reaching their destination. To guide users through the “app highway,” developers use a multitude of navigation patterns.

These patterns provide the necessary indication so that users can find what they are looking for. Think about a dating app where a user needs to build their profile first. So, the navigation should be focused on this and guide the user to the profile settings.

Why is Mobile App Navigation Important?

Developers create mobile apps with one or more goals in mind. Good mobile navigation can immensely help in achieving those goals. Check the importance of mobile app navigation below.

  • Good Navigation Reduces Friction

It means users can smoothly reach their target in the app if the navigation is intuitive. For example, the navigation of an e-commerce app should guide users from the product page to the shopping cart and finally to the checkout page. If it is difficult to find the shopping cart, users will most likely leave the app without ordering anything.

  • Intuitive Navigation Increases Engagement

When users find the desired options easily, they enjoy browsing the app and start spending more time there. If you release a streaming app, it is crucial to keep users as focused as possible. The same is true for many other cases.

  • Seamless Navigation Converts Better

If the app’s navigation design is appealing, users are more likely to develop an inner feeling of satisfaction with the app. As a result, the app will be the first thing users remember when they need something relevant. So, the chance of conversion will increase drastically.

Popular Navigation Patterns for Mobile Apps

With the evolution of smartphones, users are getting used to doing most of their daily chores on their phones. And thousands of apps are out there to meet their needs. So, the app navigation can play a vital role in making the app stand out. Here are some popular mobile app navigation patterns you can follow to make the navigation more intuitive.

1. Hamburger Menu

This is arguably one of the most frequently used navigation patterns for mobile apps. It looks like a hamburger with three vertical lines stacked together. In this pattern, the navigation menu is hidden underneath the hamburger button. You can see this navigation design on apps like Telegram.

Once users hit the button, the navigation menu expands vertically. It helps accommodate a lot of navigation menus in a tight space. But the main problem with this pattern is that users might not even notice the menu button is there.

Hamburger Menu - mobile app

2. Top and Bottom Navigation

Though these are two different patterns, we are discussing them together because they are quite similar. In this pattern, the navigation links are placed side-by-side at the top or bottom of the screen. Users can easily access each link with a simple tap. The Facebook app is the best example of this navigation pattern.

The problem with the top navigation design is that users need both hands to use it. But the bottom navigation design is more convenient because users can reach the buttons with their thumbs. So, they can use the app with one hand. And most users prefer this navigation pattern.

Top and Bottom Navigation - mobile app

3. Tab Navigation

You might have seen tabs in browsers. Tab navigation works similarly, where the navigation links are arranged in horizontal tabs. Users can click on one tab to explore its content and quickly switch to neighboring tabs. You will notice this navigation pattern in the App Store.
But the most important thing to remember here is the tab placement. These tabs should be within the reach of users’ fingers so that they can use the app while holding the mobile with one hand.

Tab Navigation - mobile app

4. Card Navigation

This pattern is really interesting with its visual contrasts and hierarchies. In this pattern, navigation links are placed on different-sized cards. Color contrast is a big part of this navigation design, which helps the key features of the app stand out. The Spotify app can be a great example of this navigation pattern.

Card Navigation - mobile app

5. Gesture Navigation

Instead of making users tap on navigation links, this pattern uses the swipe feature to take users through different actions. Gesture navigation is more fun and engaging compared to other navigation patterns. It provides a very interactive user experience. We can recall the navigation pattern of the Tinder app, which made this pattern popular. You just need to swipe right or left to take action.

Gesture Navigation - mobile app

6. Full-Screen Navigation

While many patterns target using as little space on the screen as possible, this pattern is the opposite. In this navigation design, the mobile app navigation is spread across the screen. It usually has multiple navigation patterns working seamlessly to funnel users toward conversion.
The Yelp app uses this navigation pattern where users have search bar navigation, bottom navigation, square navigation, and other patterns.

Full-Screen Navigation - Mobile app

Conclusion

In conclusion, creating intuitive mobile app navigation is vital for the success of your mobile app development. By following the principles mentioned in this guide, such as simplicity, consistency, and user-centric design, you can ensure a seamless user experience. Prioritizing intuitive navigation enhances engagement, retention, and overall app success. Invest time and effort into designing a user-friendly navigation system that establishes trust in your brand. At WebCodeGenie, we specialize in mobile app development, providing expert services to create intuitive and engaging experiences. Contact us today to build a mobile app with effortless navigation for your users.

 

 

Nirmi Shah
Written By Nirmi Shah Design - Team Lead

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