I noticed on the two most popular dating apps, Tinder and Bumble, they made the decision to put tab-like navigation at the top of the screen. Admittedly this is a stretch to reach, and I've always preferred those 5 button tabs at the bottom.

I'm wondering about the justification for this. I'm working on a similar app, and I'm wondering whether to do top or bottom navigation.

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  • This looks like the iOS version of the app and may be a convention so you should probably also check the Android version and refine your question. – Michael Lai Sep 3 '19 at 0:50
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    Unless there are designers from these companies on SE, we can only guess why companies make such and such design choices. – locationunknown Sep 3 '19 at 5:59

My guess is it would have to do with usability.

In the case of the apps using top navigation bar (which, by the way, is also a recommended navigation pattern for Android Apps), usability may be better off by having the "lesser used" actions far away from the user's thumb. By doing this, they free up the space for users to swipe or choose any of the more prevalent options offered, as starring or skiping (in the case of Tinder). You can also look at the example of the Android Facebook app, where the navigation tabs are at the top, leaving the user free to scroll endlessly through their feed.

In the case of the apps using bottom navigation bar, it should be more useful to the user to switch between content as in news apps. It's most useful for apps that need easy access to different types of content.

In my honest opinion, as mentioned in the comments, it is ultimately a matter of preference or convention by the companies developing the apps. If you feel like navigation should be easily reached, maybe a bottom bar should be the way to go. Do keep in mind to make the experience intuitive for the user. In case you should have swiping, some bottom navigation bars can be construed as "tabs/pills" and can be expected to change on swipe, which would do no favors to your main interactions. The same would be the case if you had a side navigation drawer, which may likely be meant to open on swipe. I do believe there's a reason for these companies to have chosen the top navigation bar design pattern, you should definitely take interactions into account too.

Hope this helped, good luck!

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