I'm studying this problem for an upcoming iOS app design. What are good ways to handle a 6-10 item nav menu?
Is it 6 to 10, or 6? 5 or 6 tabs work well, especially on bigger devices. If you can ensure it’s 5 or 6 items, and not 10, you can probably just use a tab bar. Is there a natural way to group things under 5 main categories? Keep in mind you can add access to less used features via nav bar buttons, grouped in their relevant tabs.
More information is probably needed before detailed suggestions can be made.
+1 what Marc said.
The path of least nav resistance here is a tab bar with the 4 most used items first, and the 5th tab being "More" which leads to your overflow options -- but that's the lazy way out.
If it were me, I'd push back hard on the product owner and kill as many of those nav items that aren't truly essential to delivering a great experience, or regroup them more wisely as Marc suggested.
In my experience, when UX designers enable big bloated menu navs, that's usually a stepping stone to an unfocused and unpolished experience as product owners and customers start throwing additional "features" in.
that's usually a stepping stone to an unfocused and unpolished experience
Yeah. There’s definitely exceptions, but having 10 really, really important top level navigation items is a red flag, pointing to other potential issues that should be addressed.
Mhm, a lot of people are just saying to kill the number of nav items ... It's right, it's obvious, it's not much help. We don't design for vacuum, and we aren't the only or the most important people on the project, and i don't think irl this problem can be solved so easily. Would really like to see more actual examples / ideas on this :)
I would reexamine the information architecture. the traditional ios bottom navigation does really well in user studies. I do have a dribble shot of something I tried out on users but it's not elegant. Hamburger menu also may work but I doubt it.
Check out this article on Medium that addresses this very issue that you are looking for feedback on:
You may or may not be able to access this app -- Footy Live by Sportsmate Technologies Pty Ltd, but these guys make beautiful apps, and they've come up with a nice way to handle 8 tab bar items without using the standard overflow treatment.
They basically insert a small handle on the right hand edge of the screen within the tab bar which signals the ability to swipe the tab bar to the left to reveal a second selection of 5, or in their case 3, items.
Like everyone else has pointed out, however, this usage should still definitely be a last resort. Reducing and economizing the architecture should still definitely be your initial focus.
I agree that the Hamburger menu is a lazy solution. You can have up to 5 items in bottom menu and then you have the top left & right corners to use and there's tabs and floating buttons etc... It's just matter of how you structure the app and prioritize actions, features and screens.
No one understod the concept of the bottle, the wheel etc.... at first.. Still complaining about the hamburger menu? Gosh!
Yelp, Etsy, Groupon, eBay, and Facebook are all examples with massive navigation structures. It turns out they all expose their top 4-5 nav items and then hide the rest in a hamburger menu or scrollable tab bar. Solid solution.