Mobile navigation designing offers unlimited flexibility and opportunity to designers to show their creativity. While there isn’t a select few ways to create mobile navigation design, some patterns have proved to be more user-friendly and workable than others. One should understand that the whole point in coming up with interface designs is to make it intuitive and save users the complicacy in requiring to learn the navigation. Controls need to be familiar enough but look unique and customized. Further, interface designing also needs to adhere to utmost consistency, wherever the users choose to move to. Here are some of the top picks when it comes to mobile UI patterns for mobile navigation.
Sliders have been integrated to take advantage of the ‘touch’ feature in modern smartphones. However, if viewed as a means of navigation, they have been relatively underused. Sliders seem to be perfect tools if you have a limited number of elements to browse. Complimented with gesture control, they are also fun and feel natural. Mobile designers have been using sliders to help users navigate through progressive and closely linked pages. It is a practical solution that doesn’t complicate the design yet make it feel unique.
2. Pictorial icons
Pictorial icons to navigate are a practical solution if you are looking to save screen space. Intuitively, the picture will be self explanatory about the space it would link/take to. While these icons check the requisite of familiarity, they can even be used creatively to bring out a unique interface design. The uniqueness here would depend on the arrangement of the icons, the style of the icon and even icon animation. A great example of this UI pattern would be the ‘Circle Map’. Pictorial icons can even be integrated with the slider feature to beef up the space and make it a much more interactive process.
3. Card grid
The Card Grid patterned interface is on the rise as its attaches more adaptability and simplicity to the design. Smart phone users will often encounter menus split into a grid of buttons wherein users will have to touch / press / select the relevant card to go to the required page. The best example would be the Microsoft Lumia screen which even integrates a vertically dropping slider to accommodate all options. Cards can be either of images or text or both. The crucial point is that they can be used to create a coherent and organized interface of available options.
4. The Spinner Wheel
A little heavy on the coding part, spinner wheels are just like the spinning wheels in a casino. You can use gesture and touch to rotate the wheel and choose among the variety of options attached to each section of the wheel. A design advantage of the spinner wheel is the ability to attach continual repetition of option. Unlike sliders that have an end, spinner wheels are continuous and this engages the user in a more fun interaction.
The type of mobile UI pattern one chooses depends on the exact balance that he/she wants to strike between creativity and simplicity. Its best to find a mid point as excess of any is damaging too.