The app navigation provides access to key functions and content in an app. It is similar to the top navigation of websites or the menu bar of a desktop application. The user needs to know what app they are using and how to access content or settings, meaning that app navigation includes additional controls within the main stage of an app.
The app navigation must allow the user to return to the start of an app, navigate through content, and access any settings and legal notices. Vendor documentation may refer to navigation, toolbars and action bars, etc. For the sake of consistency and simplicity, this guide uses “navigation” to refer to all these items.
Platform specific considerations
iPhone and iPad users will be familiar with navigation in the top-left corner of an app that allows them to go back. Android users will know that the back button is always bottom-left below an app.
Navigation should complement that of your target platform. Consult the vendor documentation of your target platform to make sure that your app navigation complements and does not duplicate built-in functions.
Both iOS and Android have strict rules for the location of toolbars: at the bottom of the screen on phones and at the top of the screen for tablets. This allows one-handed use of controls on mobile phones. Following these principles across devices ensures for a consistent user experience on the device.