Ultimate Guide to Design the Best Mobile App Navigation

Mobile App Navigation Examples

According to Statista, consumers are forecast to download 143 billion mobile apps from the Google Play store in 2026, up nearly 30 percent from the 111 billion apps downloaded in 2021.

It is not surprising because each of us today carries out actions on his smartphone using hundreds of mobile applications. When we need proven, safe, high-quality apps, we know we can find what we need in Google Play and the Apple App Store. But how convenient this application will be, we will learn only from experience.

This article is for you if you provide mobile application development services and want to create a high-quality application that will compete among hundreds of analogs.

Why is app navigation important?

Navigation in an application is one of the critical characteristics that determine the quality of an application. 

Navigation allows users to navigate from one application location to another. Navigating from one page to another or finding important content within an app makes it easy for users to interact with an app.

Navigation types

Various types of navigation can help users move between mobile screen apps.

1. Side navigation

Indicates navigation between screens that are in the same hierarchy.

2. Navigation forward

Forward navigation has three types of movement between the screens of any application to complete a task: down and forward.

3. Back navigation

It refers to moving backward between different screens. And it helps you navigate chronologically through the screen history or up the app hierarchy.

So why is it so important to have good app navigation? Navigation encourages users to explore all critical sections of the application.

Navigation is the source that will lead users to all the essential aspects of a mobile app.

Your users need a path in your app, but it must look promising enough to encourage users to choose the same! Proper navigation guarantees the same.

Four popular mobile app navigation patterns

1. Controversial hamburger menu

The concept of a burger menu is still vague and controversial in the design community. Some prefer it, while others want to exclude it from the design concept.

2. Floating navigation button

Oddly enough, floating icons are circular in shape and float around the interface. A floating action button (FAB) launches the main action in your mobile app's user interface.

3. Full-screen navigation

Full-screen navigation puts forward quite the opposite concept. If the designer uses full-screen navigation in an understandable way (getting rid of all the complexity), then it becomes pretty clear what needs to be explored to the user.

4. Tab navigation

Tab navigation appears at the top of Android apps and the bottom of iOS apps. A tab is usually a series of different options that lead users to the respective screen/page.


Why is there so much effort today to improve the app user experience? Forbes comments on the answer to this question: he writes that generation X and baby boomers use applications more purposefully. Gen Xers prefer personal connections to visual stimulation. 

On the other hand, Baby Boomers use apps to maintain a better quality of life. Both Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are very purposeful in their use of apps, so developers should put user experience (UX) as their top priority, ensuring that UX is seamless and easy to navigate.

Research your target audience, ensure you know how to work with them, and choose the type of mobile app navigation that will make you an industry leader. After all, it's not that difficult, along with the tips in this article.

Author’s bio: Anastasiia Lastovetska is a technology writer at MLSDev, a software development company that builds web & mobile app solutions from scratch. She researches the area of technology to create great content about app development, UX/UI design, tech & business consulting.