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I am helping design an app that has different functionality available to different users. These different modules are made available through a bottom menu/nav bar. However we have some users that will only have one module.

Currently we have it such that the nav bar is empty for them (essentially a bar of colour), but it seems a bit strange. Although that might just be because we're used to it having the modules and these users will never see any other modules.

We're debating removing the bar entirely or adding the single module name and icon.

  • Removing the bar will be strange when users add or remove modules or for users that have multiple profiles with different access.
  • Adding the single module link seems wrong, because it's essentially a link that only shows on the page it links to and the name of the module is already displayed at the top of the page.
  • Keeping it as is makes the empty nav bar look like a pointless design element. The nav bar is also removed on some other pages so it's very clear that it's not just there for the look of the app.

Is there a common practice for this empty nav bar scenario?

I am struggling to find any other guidance on this because there is so much info about menu bars.

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It is difficult to give a good answer without being able to see your final designs. However, based on the information you have provided, my suggest is to remove the bar when there is only one module.

  1. Mobile screen space is premium, so wasting it with an empty bar is not useful.
  2. You already have it missing on some pages anyway, so keeping it for the sake of consistency is already out the window
  3. How many users will have multiple accounts to even notice this in the first place? I am sure those that do will have no problem understanding why it is different, as I expect they will understand if an account doesn't have multiple modules (and therefore doesn't need a menu for it)
  4. It also might even work in your favour. Imagine you are a user with one module. You add a new module and wonder "how do I access this new module?". The fact a new bar appears will be immediately obvious to the user and will help them quickly learn how to access the different modules.
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