I would like to hear what you think about bottom tab bar for mobile versions of websites. It is called bottom navigation bar too. Here an example: https://pitchfork.com/.

I am trying to use it to improve engagement of e-commerce websites in Brazil with this element but I need to reunite some good reasons to do that. I will post the links of my research later in this topic.

All the best!

  • My take is less about experience and more about trends - and this pattern looks very outdated.
    – VitskyDS
    May 9, 2018 at 7:09

4 Answers 4


Great idea! I was thinking about writing a the pros and cons but i found this review from medium.com with exactly the points I was thinking about. The biggest con is the design, on Android gets a little bit confuse, specially when the menu looks like the mobile buttons. Interesting the point about home button redundancy but is difficult to think about removing it from the app.



It's actually a bad idea.

Three reasons for that:

  1. It's unusual.
  2. It will interfere with scrolling up and down.
  3. But even if we can discuss the above tapping the very bottom of the screen in mobile Safari triggers browser menu, everything moves a little bit up, and then you need to tap again, so it will be very confusing for the user. Unfortunately.
  • 1
    Try out the Instagram mobile web version. It is consistent with the app, which is great. I had no problems using it.
    – alex351
    Feb 12, 2019 at 8:00

I think it depends on the product and what you want to do. If there is something at the bottom of the screen it needs to have a solid reason to be there.

I’ve only used it when it has a very specific or core use. For example, I used it on a website for a power grid supplier, if the user has suffered a power cut there was a tab bar at the bottom for an incident report form or if it was a dire emergency an automatic call button. I also used it for a telecommunications supplier for businesses, again for the same thing, if their infrastructure went down they could press a similar 2 options to report them.

Other examples I’ve seen are betting companies use them for bet-slips (pretty core parts of a sports book).

I’ve also seen a few companies adopting the coin from android as apposed to a full bar to save on screen space that has a core function that’s quick to access e.g. a cart or bet slip.

Based on this, if you are going to adopt one I’d consider a few things:

  • does it really need to be there? Why?
  • will it be useful or will it benefit the user?
  • will it make the experience better?
  • will it increase conversion or help?


  • it will impede on screen space making it harder to scroll especially on smaller screens.

  • you are potentially limiting space for showing products.

  • maybe test it with users and see how they react to it.


Whether a bottom navigation works for your mobile website, depends entirely on what you want to achieve and what your website's top tasks are. It's a matter of weighing benefits to downsides.

The upsides are quite simple; users can easily reach their most used tasks because their thumb is closer to it. If you have a set of top-level destinations that need to always be accessable, then this is indeed very helpful. It 'feels good' to be able to easily switch between different pages.

One major downside of using a bottom navigation in a website, is the browser itself. You'll have the additional challenge of dealing with browsers and their placement of browser navigation, limiting usable space. Especially Safari tends to put a wrench in proper bottom navigation behaviour because the browser navigation will push your botom navigation up and down depending on whether the user is scrolling or not. This can feel very jarring.

A bottom navigation is unfortunately not a one-size-fits-all solution. As in, it works for some sites, it doesn't for others. One great way to find out is to test this on a set of users; one set uses your website as-is, the other will use your new set-up. You can test whether the users can perform actions faster and with less searching or frustration... or if the opposite rings true.

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