Just wondering if there is a particular term for the UX design of having Core Nav in the parent state, which gets hidden with the child nav or tools in the child state. The benefits being that the UI stay's simplistic and in context.

For example, Google Inbox. We have the hamburger and a few other tools in the 'parent' list of emails screen, but gets hidden when you open up an email and have contextual tools for the email 'child' screen.

1 view contextual menus?

Any links to support your answer would be awesome.


  • Not that I particularly know of. If you need to think of a name something like 'Context Dependent Navigation' might work.
    – PhillipW
    May 23, 2016 at 16:26
  • As PhillipW mentioned I don't know if there's a name for the pattern that you're describing specifically, but it definitely falls into the general area of context-sensitive UI: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Context-sensitive_user_interface
    – dekaliber
    May 24, 2016 at 17:32
  • Cool thanks guys. Yeah "context-sensitive UI" is definitely good for the nav/tools inside the child. I wanted to get a term to use with clients/portfolio and was just checking to see if I was missing one. Apart from the contextual stuff, I guess the "email pop-out" part is essentially like a modal, where you can close and resume from where you were. So in summary, it could be "modal with context-sensitive UI" ?
    – Rhys
    May 25, 2016 at 7:48
  • I'm putting in my vote for "context sensitive" if for no other reason that I love this bit from Conker's Bad Fur Day youtube.com/watch?v=ujDIU7HPdHc Jun 3, 2016 at 19:01

2 Answers 2


I think you might be referring to Modal Views. From the iOS Human Interface Guidelines on Modal Contexts:

Ideally, people can interact with iOS apps in nonlinear ways, so it’s best when you can minimize the number of modal experiences in your app. In general, consider creating a modal context only when:

• It’s critical to get the user’s attention

• A self-contained task must be completed—or explicitly abandoned—to avoid leaving the user’s data in an ambiguous state

And on Temporary Views, also referring to Modal Views:

Use a modal view when you need to offer the ability to accomplish a self-contained task related to your app’s primary function. A modal view is especially appropriate for a multistep subtask that requires UI elements that don’t belong in the main app UI all the time.

I highly recommend taking your time to read through this whole document, as it helps us understand the use cases that call for specific types of interactions.

iOS Human Interface Guidelines


Contextual action bar/mode (aka CAB)


The contextual action mode displays action items that affect the selected content in a bar at the top of the screen and allows the user to select multiple items.

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