If you’ve been paying attention to some of Google’s recent updates to their Android applications, Google+ and Google Photos are good examples, you’ve probably noticed the new trend of adding a “bottom bar” for navigating certain portions of the app. Some users love it, some users hate it, but regardless of where you stand, it’s something that won’t be going away anytime soon.
Google recently updated the official Material Design spec to officially welcome the bottom bar to the approved design elements. Some of the highlights of the guidelines from these bottom bars include:
- Three to five top-level destinations of similar importance
- Views should be fixed, not scrolling
- Colors should be used on the section in focus, not on all section icons
- If the bottom navigation bar is colored, make the icon and text label of the current action black or white.
- Text should be short labels
- Icons should lead to a destination, not a menu or pop-up
Bottom navigation provides quick navigation between top-level views of an app. It is primarily designed for use on mobile. Larger displays, like desktop, may achieve a similar effect by using side navigation. For instance, the compact “rail” treatment displays navigational icons by default.
Many users have mixed feelings on how this change will affect apps. If implemented correctly, by following Google’s guidelines, it could be an excellent change. However if it is used incorrectly or unnecessarily, it could be pretty terrible. For now we’ll just have to wait and see how developers make use of this change.
If you’re considering using this new feature in your application, head over to the official Material Design Spec at the source link below.