I am working on an iPhone app. I am in the early stages of designing the structure.

I will be using word department as a node in the information architecture structure of an app.

I encountered a rather rare (or I think it's rare) issue with information architecture in the app. I am trying to design the navigation system of the app while having 2 main departments in the app. The problem is that I would not rather use the tabs, since 2 tabs look weird (and I haven't really seen an app with 2 tab bars) and they take too much space.

Systems, which I found are used for splitting departments in the apps are:

1. TABS Usually used for more than 2 app departments, like foursquare. Depts: Friends, Explore, User


2. FEED STYLE Usually used for 1 app dept. Dept: Feed


And many others which are usually designed for >= 3 depts

My question is are there any other alternatives to presenting structure of the app in iPhone apps? I would of course rather go for a pattern, which is well-known and not design my own.

And the second if you had 2 main depts in the app how would you present it in the iPhone app?

  • I seen nothing wrong with having 2 tabs. I can't think of anything that more clearly indicates "there are 2 sections here".
    – obelia
    Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 2:35

1 Answer 1


I would suggest doing something like the iOS Mail app. The main screen is the inbox, but you can back up one in the navigation hierarchy to see the list. Just make sure to make it load on your main screen and only switch if you go back and then choose a different option.

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