Different Apps Follow Different Navigation Styles

Different Apps Follow Different Navigation Styles

“One-size-fits-all”, may be good for some designs, but not with app designs.

Right now, you must be having a handful of apps in your smartphone. Check out a one or two. See the difference – the difference of navigation when you enter the app. One has the navigation menu at top while one has the navigation menu at bottom. Likewise different types of apps have different menu style.

Best app development companies never select menu for their app randomly. They are concerned about which menu is suitable for which type of app. Say, for e.g. a Social networking app must have a navigation menu at top while a photo editing app must serve users with bottom menu. Let’s take an opposite example: A music player must have an expanding menu (the one expands a selected list of songs). Users hate to bother by a menu that lets them swipe each time to listen different songs.

It all relies on what your app is designed to do.

Here, I have selected some popular menu types and the examples of apps following such menus. I have also depicted which menu is suitable for which type of app.

Top Menu

Top Menu

Ideal for: almost all apps

Facebook and Whatsapp – the social networking giants don’t need an intro. Both of them follow top menu design – proving it an ideal menu for social networking apps. As thorough as I gone, I found most of apps having top menus. So, I can say that you can follow top navigation menu with all types of apps.

Bottom Menu


Ideal for: editing apps, photo editing apps, animation apps

One of our favourite photo editing and sharing app – Instagram and Animation app have bottom menu. Bottom menu is suitable for apps with editing features.

Top-Bottom Menu

Top-Bottom Menu

Ideal for: GPS-enabled apps, apps with too much data

Apps having hoards of data need double menu at top as well as at bottom. Ola cab is a home of data including customers’ data, location information, drivers’ personal information, etc. For Google Maps, you even can’t imagine the amount of data it has to reveal.

Expanding Menu
Expanding Menu

Ideal for: music playing apps, shopping apps, news apps

Shopping apps are full of products from multiple brands. Music apps save thousands of songs from hundreds of albums. News apps receive daily updates from across the world. Apps those have multiple data from multiple locations need thorough navigation to provide a confusion-free user experience.

Matrix or grid style menu


Ideal for: apps with minimum features

As you can see in the above image, both the apps have minimum features. Apps with limited features can follow matrix or grid style menu as it’s easy to put a few number of features on home screen.

List Style Menu


Ideal for: food apps

Putting all on home screen in a straight manner (list) – apps with minimum design and straight approach can follow this design style.

Wrapping Up

Go ahead. Check your app’s menu and verify whether the selected one is suitable for the app type or not. You can make it better to deliver a better user experience.


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