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Ask DN: Why less tabbar driven iOS Design for feed based apps?

over 5 years ago from , Designer

I'm wondering why there seems to be less tabbar controller based iOS design in feed driven apps? Does it really make that much more sense to use your highest visibility area for 100px more of content view or adding a 1-click main nav and letting the header get replaced by rolling content?

Maybe there isn't less and I'm just confused...?

6 comments

  • c kizerc kizer, over 5 years ago

    In some projects, at least for me (i think this reason is unique) it feels like tab bar is static content that could be exposed in the main window. Sort of how most web pages use ajax to expose stuff inline rather than send you to a whole new browser page to submit forms.

    That's some of my reasons at least. Does your app really have multiple different areas that it needs tabs? Is it really important to have your app split up. It just feels like each view is almost a whole other world, and feels slow to me to have to go to there, and switch tabs. In my mind it's just a mental thing…

    1 point
  • Tyler HowarthTyler Howarth, over 5 years ago

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with a tab bar. I've seen a few apps that had a hamburger drawer initially, then switched to a tab navigation after (example http://well.io/). I personally think that tab bars allow the user to explore easier than a side menu. There is also that fact that it takes 2 taps to get anywhere with a side nav.

    Popular with tabs - Instagram and twitter Popular Hamburger drawers - Path and Facebook

    Do whatever makes sense for your product.

    1 point
    • Robb SchillerRobb Schiller, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

      Yeah - Good points. I suppose that's part of the problem.

      I think socially driven, feed based apps are potentially the most divided.

      Two additional big distinctions I see...

      For tabbar design 1. Tabbar design makes changing views much faster and makes exploring the app more straight-forward and easy. I think it also places the navigation in an area that's mostly obstructed by your thumb moving up and down when interacting with vertical content.

      Against tabbar design 2. Tabbars are bad iOS design. Twitter and Instagram both have to change their main navigational interaction to fit with android UI. If your app has an Android counterpart, Tabbar design is most likely a bad idea...

      0 points
  • Connor Tomas O'BrienConnor Tomas O'Brien, over 5 years ago

    Robb, you're right. If you watch Phil Schiller at last year's keynote discussing what it means to "optimise apps for the iPhone 5" (http://youtu.be/h7Qtp6Iv7a0?t=17m56s), you'll see that Apple have been implicitly pushing developers to avoid the tab bar in order to display more content.

    1 point
  • Thani SuchoknandThani Suchoknand, over 5 years ago

    It depends on what works best for your app and your users. If you have a only 4-5 options and a relatively flat hierarchy then tabs are awesome. If you have a more complex navigational structure then I'd say a menu is the best option. Again, there is no right answer — do what works for you.

    0 points
  • Kyle A Kyle A , over 5 years ago

    Tab bars are too limited. Eventually you get to "more" and then it's just annoying. A different menu system allows for scrolling and more options.

    0 points