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In iPhone UI development, we have this design pattern of putting the current location in the UINavigationBar. When you first open the app, it will generally show the company logo. As you navigate, the logo is replaced with the page title. This Yelp app is an example of using this UINavigationBar.

yelp iphone app

For my particular app, I don't have multiple levels of navigation. It's just a list of videos. When you click a video it opens a full screen movie player. For my simple app, do I need a title bar showing my company logo? In the web world, it's nice to always have your logo at the top to help the user know what site he/she is on. Does this apply to the mobile app world?

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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Short answer, Yes its great to have a logo in your app.

Since much of app development is done using the native UI everything can start to blur together in a users mind. If you want your app to get the "credit" of the good use and experience the users gets for it than you should keep your logo up top.

Otherwise, you can think of adding functionality to that space to help the user sort through the grid of videos. But I don't know what the requirements of your app are.

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My app does use the generic templates provided by Apple because it's just a quick version 1. So as you said, the title bar will help orient the user since my app doesn't look special. But I saw some 1st party 1-page apps, such as Compass, not have a title bar. Compass is very uniquely designed though, so it might not necessitate a title bar. Is this the right thought? –  JoJo May 2 '11 at 18:37
    
Exactly @jojo if your product is not unique or the thought of whose app is giving the user its function and experience than then a logo works very well for ingraining that into their memory as they use your app. Later, if it is ingrained enough they will remember and recommend it. –  jonshariat May 2 '11 at 18:52
    
This IS NOT the answer. Apple says, "Resist the temptation to display your logo throughout the app," in their HIG. You don't need your app to get "credit" for the good experience. You need the user to get the best experience after they click your logo to launch your app that they voluntarily installed. That's how you build "Cred" these days. –  Richard Bronosky Feb 13 at 8:35
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Have a look at the AppStore app. Maybe you find some features there. I could imagine:

  • Search field
  • Refresh (Load new from web)
  • A tab navigation (which you don't need)
  • Just a headline

Coming back to your question. It's always nice to provide a headline. About the logo: will it look nice up there? Make a little layout and see for yourself. In terms of usability I don't think that a logo will give it additional value. The user's focus might be on the content not on the branding.

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I agree. Depending on what it looks like I wouldn't display the logo just for the sake of displaying the logo. With mobile apps, you are already working with very limited real estate. However, if you can add some basic functionality within the same line (like quick-search or a refresh, as you mention) then it's probably worth it. –  Baa May 2 '11 at 20:11
    
Maybe there's other places within the app to brand. E.g. a high sized logo would not fit in properly in the header part. This could look ugly and is not readable. –  erikrojo May 3 '11 at 11:59
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another point: if the user has lots of apps on his/her phone, simply using the nav bar to show a title can give the user a quick, visual reminder of which app they're using at a glance.

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This isn't a standard and shouldn't be used as a reason to promote the anti-pattern of misusing the navigation title. –  micap Feb 13 at 12:31
    
point taken. @Richard Bronosky's answer is the best here. –  nielsbot Feb 13 at 21:04
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I can't believe what I'm reading in all these answers. Not a single person has referenced Apple's HIG.

Resist the temptation to display your logo throughout the app. Mobile device screens are relatively small, and every occurrence of a logo takes space away from the content that users want to see. What’s more, displaying a logo in an app doesn’t serve the same purpose as displaying it in a webpage: It’s common for users to arrive on a webpage without knowing its owner, but it’s much less likely that users will open an iOS app without seeing its app icon.

You can't look at small time apps and get good ideas. That's the blind leading the blind. Look at these:

Weather in iOS7

Weather in iOS7

Maps in iOS7

Maps in iOS7

Mail in iOS7

Mail in iOS7

Calendar in iOS7

enter image description here

Facebook on iOS

Where is their logo? It's on the icon you clicked to launch the app! Facebook on iOS

Now, compare that to the Yelp app. Yelp looks antiquated the wasted screen space and redundancy. (Notice "Nearby" is on top and bottom!)

Yelp on iOS

Yelp on iOS

Mobile apps are different from the web in that you don't end up on an unknown app by clicking a link the way you do on the web. You get into an app by making the conscious choice to install the app and click it's icon. Now, if you are making a special app for handicapped people with short-term memory loss, that's a different story.

Memento movie

Memento (movie, 2000)

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Thanks @Erics, the smaller images are much better! –  Richard Bronosky Feb 13 at 18:56
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