I'm considering placement of the main navigation for a responsive site in a thin sidebar similar to the navigation on Twitter's iPad app, as seen on the left.

enter image description here

However with the icons and links positioned to the bottom of the sidebar.

To me it makes some sort of sense due to the nature of holding a tablet, but will desktop users have too much of a hard time with the transition. Please note the new Myspace's navigation has similar placement, but runs along the bottom of the browser full width.

enter image description here

Just looking for the communities opinion on this?

  • Would the top of the sidebar be empty? – obelia Jan 28 '13 at 23:32
  • There would be a call to action to toggle the side bar full width and collapsed. The site logo would be up the very top of the the bar – tweedman23 Jan 28 '13 at 23:47

My first thought is that it would seem strange to focus attention on the bottom left of the screen as it is not where a user instinctually looks when a page loads.

That said the Windows Start button has been there for years!


There are numerous of options when it comes to navigation pattern on mobile (handheld) devices. And you're idea of bottom navigation is a great concept of "thinking outside of the box". You have put your effort to you're users and your users normal position to the handheld device.

And since there are no conventions (yet) on mobile navigation - I think you can do whatever you like as long as your users love what you do. But before implementing a pattern, unknown to man, please take the time to consider the ten (!) mobile navigation patterns available. Those are Spring board, List Menu, Tab Menu, Gallery, Dashboard, Metaphor, Mega Menu, Page Carousel, Image Carousel and Expanding List.

In your case - the closest thing would be the image carousel:

enter image description here

If you need more to read on mobile User Experience - turn your attention to the great article The Elements Of The Mobile User Experience.

  • 1
    Correct me if I'm wrong but I think the navigation is for a web app not a mobile app? – Oisin Lavery Jan 31 '13 at 14:00
  • @Sherpanaut Title says mobile navigation, doesn't it? – Benny Skogberg Jan 31 '13 at 16:11
  • It a mobile first concept for a responsive website. Desktop users will have access to this as well – tweedman23 Feb 1 '13 at 13:04
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    @BennySkogberg It does but if you read the question again, you will see the real question is whether having the main navigation placed at the bottom left of the browser would be jarring for desktop users. My answer was that it could be a little unusual for them as it is not really the norm. However I do like your answer in that it encourages invention and experimentation! – Oisin Lavery Feb 1 '13 at 14:27
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    The question could be a little more focused which i'll admit. I'll refine just now. Thanks for the feedback so far guys – tweedman23 Feb 1 '13 at 15:02

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