UX Patterns for Mobile Apps: Navigation Counts

UX Patterns for Mobile Apps: Navigation Counts
May 03 2016

The most important thing to keep in mind when designing mobile application is not only is the usefulness of the application but also the intuitiveness of the app also matters a lot. If the app is not useful then no one has any reason to use it and if it is useful and comes with a steep learning curve people won't bother about learning it. A good UI design addresses both problems and then proceeds to formalize the best practices which can help in solving both problems simultaneously. These problems are commonly referred to as design patterns. By understanding today's most effective design patterns one can gain a huge leg-up in the industry of mobile application design and this will give the app the advantage of being fresh and competitive.

It doesn’t matter the kind of app you are designing users will need to navigate through the different features of the app and how easily and intuitively users navigate through the app will determine the success rate of the newly launched app.

Coach-marks and walkthroughs

Usefulness is at the core of the successful app and sometimes a successful app means a combination of different types of tools and content. A good and simple way to address is this by creating an initial walkthrough which demonstrates how each function works. One strategy is to highlight the important section of the user interface with the coach marks which explain what they do while the carousel can be used as a slideshow which can be used to walk the user through the typical user experience. The same design pattern can also be used to collect additional user information from the user by allowing an initial user sign-up experience and more intuitive integration into the app.
If your app is complex and different features are not immediately obvious to the user then walkthroughs and coach marks will help as a great design pattern.

Content based navigation

UX Patterns for Mobile Apps

Every designer wants to make the flow of content as fluid as possible within the app, irrespective of the kind of content. Content-based navigation is used as a design pattern in order to provide a seamless transition between overview and detailed state. Such a transition is possible by clicking on the screen in either view or with swipe through pictures.


Sliders are used to deliver necessary information which otherwise may require a whole new screen. Such a design pattern allows for easy toggle between information generating seamless transition between various options of information.


Sometimes notifications and additional information can help the user to interact with the app in a more efficient way and in such cases the user might want to view the information without losing their current place in the app. Popovers can solve this problem as popover appears in the app when the new information is available along with the controls associated with the information so that the user can take the necessary action without losing the current spot in the app.

Slideouts, Sidebars and Drawers

Since mobile screens are small therefore the challenge is to fit a lot of information into that small screen or UI. This can become easily overcrowded So, in order to avoid clutter slideouts, sidebars and drawers are used to navigate between different parts of the app. These patterns are generally tucked in collapsible hamburger menus which allow users to interact with information easily as per their requirements.

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