45 Great Mobile Menu Design Examples [+Best Practices]
Mega Inspiration and Best Practices
Good navigation is key for a great user experience, especially on limited mobile screens. With this in mind, your mobile navigation should help your users navigate through your app or website with ease. The hardest part when designing your menu is to decide which pattern is the best for your mobile menu? This is why in this article, I’ve gathered a mega inspirational collection of 45 great mobile menu design examples that follow the most popular approaches.
And of course, since every good story needs a conclusion, I’ll also add 6 great practices to follow for efficient mobile navigation.
Mobile Menu Design Examples: Overview
1. Hamburger Menu Examples
Starting with the most popular one, the hamburger menu is top-level mobile navigation that can accommodate a larger number of items and save you some precious space. The pattern allows you to hide your navigation beyond the left edge and reveal it by triggering the hamburger menu icon.
- Strengths: It gives you an entire screen to put your main categories instead of keeping those categories in the main design.
- Weaknesses: The hamburger menu doesn’t show the user their current location on the app or website. In order to view that, the user has to click on the hamburger icon.
Now let’s look at some hamburger mobile app menu examples:
Don’t throw the burger piece v2 by nasserui_ gives an amazing presentation for an animated hamburger menu.
Short and sweet hamburger menu with a very clean design and three main categories for Abs 21 – Fitness app by Erin Fox.
Hamburger menu for Online Payment App Design by Usama Nawaz.
Example for hamburger mobile menu for Sports Recording app by Alan love.
Mobile menu for Educational mobile app (Home page) by Anita Lever.
A hamburger menu with a twist for The Belgian Waffles App Concept by Sarjil Napit. The hamburger icon summons the categories as a sidebar with the current location.
Beautifully designed navigation for Cosmetics Mobile App – 3 by Anastasia Marinicheva.
Menu Concept for Mobile Devices by Martin Mroč.
A hamburger menu for Mobile book sales app all by Roman Lel.
There’s a very clean and rich hamburger menu example for a Booksapp concept by Ruslan Bakhar for Qubstudio: UX/UI & Branding Agency.
For mobile restaurant menu design inspiration, this is the menu for a restaurant app by Hachibur Rahman that gives users quick access to their current and previous orders.
This is a more particular example by ALEX BENDER of different category icons that trigger an animated menu as a Sidebar.
The hamburger menu for a hotel accommodation app by Alan love.
Hamburger menu for Pets Adoption App by Marina Logunova.
Foxxiz – English learning app menu by Yehor Haiduk.
Bookmark app menu by Roman Lel.
Hamburger Menu Mobile Food App Design by MD ZAHIDUL HOSSAIN.
2. Full-Screen Menu Examples
The actual full-screen navigation approach devotes the home page exclusively to navigation. In this case, however, we’ll look at some designs with literal full-screen navigation as they all have the potential to be the homepage.
- Strengths: Great choice for achieving simplicity and coherence as you can use it to organize a lot of data into categories without making it overwhelming.
- Weaknesses: You can’t display any content except the navigation options.
Simple and stylish full-screen mobile menu example for Web Portfolio by Iara Grinspun.
High-contrast menu for Food delivery app by Sanneth with many categories.
Here’s the full-screen menu for a clever real estate search app by Kate Dębosz.
Bloglife News App Menu by Bhavna Kashyap for Nickelfox.
Design for Eskafil by Vilius Vaicius.
Menu for the Designer Portfolio Kit – Mobile Version by Tran Mau Tri Tam.
A lovely example of a full-screen menu with animation for the Kidzoo App by Manoj Rajput and Ketan Rajput from MindInventory.
A full-size mobile menu triggered by a floating action button by Lorenzo Perniciaro for Fireart Studio.
3. Tab Bar Navigation Examples
This pattern for mobile navigation contains fewer options for direct access from anywhere in the app or website. It can be a bottom navigation bar with specific for each option icon or a short and consistent text label. The tab bar is ideal for apps with up to 5 top-level navigation options and easily communicate current location.
- Strengths: The bottom tab bar menu is in the thumb zone, giving instant easy access.
- Weaknesses: You’re limited to 5 options with this pattern, so if you need to feature more, consider a hamburger menu.
A main tab bar menu with a secondary hamburger menu for the Medical Kızılay Mobile App by Enise ÖZ with four categories and socials.
A tab bar menu with icons and short labels for a Car station search app by Sergey Don.
In this example of a Food delivery app by Esraa Gamal we the main tab bar menu with the main options and secondary tab bar menus in each category.
A beautiful example of an online menu design for Cellini coffee by Azimbek Nigmatulin with a secondary tab menu and a hamburger main menu.
The bottom navigation for a Plant Lover Mobile App Design by Kristina Petrova.
The categories are turned into small icons with short labels to help the user browse articles on the preferred topic. Design by Bohdan Kononets, Roman Vasilev and Vladimir Mamontov .
Management App bottom navigation by Murat Ak.
Restaurant Management App by Sujith Nivel and Raju Somu. The main menu is a tasb bar navigation.
4. Other Mobile Menu Design Examples
Of course, these are not your only options for navigation patterns. You can incorporate floating icons, card-based navigation, sequential menus, and more.
This is card-based navigation that displays top-level menu content on the home screen. DotBank – Mobile App by Irene Butenko.
In this design by Vyacheslav Kornev, the categories are cards in a full-screen menu.
Here we have tab bar navigation by NH NAHID and Lija Akter. The submenus offer the categories as cards and a hamburger menu.
Tabs are everywhere in AppEat Delivery by Nikita Shipaev.
App Coffee ordering by Mariia Gavrina with a redesign from hamburger to bottom tab bars menu. The sub-navigation features submenus.
Rich navigation by Roman Lel with sublevels. However, the main navigation narrows it down to 5 items in the bottom bar.
Therachat menu by Katerina Menshikova.
The menu for a Food delivery app by Suzanna Muradian.
Rich menu with sub-navigation for a Clothes Store App by Mikheil Gogiberidze.
Another example of a menu with sub-navigation by Sanjin Halilovic for the Ministry of Programming.
Drinks App manu by Afterglow.
Responsive Menu with sub-navigation by DStudio.
5. 6 Best Practices for an Efficient Mobile Menu Design
After getting all hyped up by the awesome mobile navigation designs, let’s have a look at some of the best practices that all of the examples follow. There are a few guidelines that can turn good mobile navigation into a great one. And as usual, the trick is to keep it simple.
1. Minimum Options
Most mobile phone screens offer portrait mode at only 720 pixels. This means the mobile menu should be as short and simple as possible with short labels and a limited number of options. With this in mind, the option should include only the priority tasks for the user, not everything that you have on your app or website. Here’s an example of a short and sweet menu with four labels and Call/Mail options by Martin Mroč.
2. Easily Accessible
Consider sticky navigation on top of the design to give all-time access to the user. If you have more than a few items there, you could include the most important pages as icons or short labels and list the rest in “More”. For example, see this sticky nav by Rahul Chakraborty.
3. Include the Search
Users need quick access to your search and the Navigation is the first place they’ll look for it. This is why it’s a good practice to make the search a part of the menu. Especially when it comes to massive catalogs and options, the simple accessible Search is a must. Here’s a cool concept by UXUSER.
Your app or website on mobile should have easily readable elements and copy so the users won’t have to zoom in. Of course, this principle for good user experience especially applies to navigation. Not only should you use highly readable fonts that naturally add enough space between letters, but also make sure there is enough space between the different options to make it easy for the user to tap on the chosen label.
Another thing to consider for your labels is the contrast between the text (or icon) and the navigation background. Here’s an example of good font choice and contrast by Alan love.
5. Easy to Hit the Tap Mark
The very minimum touch target is 48 pixels spaced at a minimum of 32 pixels from other touch targets, according to Google. With this in mind, you should test the touch design and make sure users won’t have any issues tapping the chosen label. Another important practice to mention is to design your menu for touch entirely.
If you have a drop-down that reveals the sub-levels by hovering on the desktop version, keep in mind to trigger that reveal via touch on mobile. However, overall, avoid drop-down menus for mobile.
In this example of Responsive Web Design for Eskafil by Vilius Vaicius the menu options are kept to the minimum and offer enough space for the user to easily tap on each label.
6. Consider the Right Order
The number of the items in your navigation matters, however so does the way you order them. Just like in any design, for mobile menus, the items at the beginning and at the end will be most effective. This is because the human eye naturally goes due to cognitive biases of the serial position effect.
According to these biases, the items at the beginning of a list are the ones that get the focus first and are considered prominent automatically. In terms of the recency effect, items at the end of the list are naturally easier to remember. Make sure to put your most important pages first.
In this example of Ramni Free Mobile App UI UX Kit by Pankaj Patel the most important items are Home, My Cart, and Upcoming Orders with a small alert with the number of the latter.
User experience matters more than beautiful design. This is especially true for navigation, as the menu must be intuitive, easily accessible, and simple. In conclusion, helping your users navigate through your app or website with ease will encourage them to use your app, website, and services.
I hope you enjoyed today’s collection of awesome mobile menu design examples and got inspired to never cease to improve your designs.
In the meantime, why not check for more related insights on web development and web design?