UI design pattern tips: vertical navigation

In the latest in a series looking at website design patterns, Chris Bank of UXPin looks at vertical navigation.

Once someone starts using your website or web application, they need to know where to go and how to get there at any point. If they can't navigate through your your application easily, you'll quickly lose them. Thus, designing effective navigation in your web application is crucial.

In this series for Creative Bloq, Chris Bank of UXPin, the UX design app, discusses the importance of navigation design patterns and details examples from some of the hottest websites and web apps today.

You can see previous posts in this series here. Meanwhile, for more examples of web design patterns, download UXPin's free e-book, Web UI Design Patterns 2014.

The problem

The user needs a way to navigate between different sections of the app, but there's limited space to show this information.

The solution

Important sections of the UI can be presented in a list, which the user can scroll through to get what they want. This also leaves the header and footer of the UI free for more 'universal' navigation, such as action bars. Traditionally, most navigation patterns have been horizontal in the form of tabs or buttons.

Facebook boxes off much of its navigation into lists

The vertical navigation pattern has emerged as a significant evolution to navigational design to deal with user-generated content like user timelines and infinite scrolling content.

Words: Chris Bank

Chris Bank is the growth lead at UXPin, a UX design app that creates responsive interactive wireframes and prototypes.