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Revision as of 06:40, 30 June 2009 by Rahulsingh1m (Talk | contribs)

Navigation Usability

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Navigation plays a crusial role in mobile applications. Usable navigation is something every application needs. It determines where users are led and how they interact with the different views. Without usable navigation, content becomes all but useless. Menus need to be simple enough for the user to understand, but also contain the elements necessary to guide the user through the application — with some creativity and good design thrown in. A huge factor in being user-friendly is providing simple and intuitive navigation. Major areas of navigation should be located consistently on all pages. Apply the navigation usability tips to your application that encourage user to visit your application again and again.

Some navigation usability tips

  • A general rule of thumb is that any view in your application should be reachable with 2 clicks from your main view.
  • Another important factor with navigation is that user’s shouldn’t have to guess where they will end up if they click on a item. Regardless of whether the item is part of a navigation menu, or if it is simply in the body of the text, visitors should understand where the item will lead them.
  • Every view should have option to go back to main view directly.
  • The main features should be available from the main view of the app.
  • Softkeys, menus, shortcut keys etc should be similar to the preinstalled applications on the device.
  • Must have a back option on all view.
  • Be consistent, should use common navigation throughout the application.
  • Exit function must always be available. User should be able to close the application without returning to the main page of the application.
  • Make proper use of indicators.
  • The labels and instructions should be short and simple.

Good navigation example with back
option in view


Bad navigation example without
back option in view


  • Navigation labels should be short and easy to understand. The words used for the labels (menu item) should also be sufficiently descriptive to provide a clear indication of the view they link to.

Good navigation example with small


Bad navigation example with large


  • All important view should have exit option to exit from application at any time.

Good navigation example with exit
option in view


Bad navigation example without
exit option in view


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