Many mobile apps have bottom navigation (think Instagram, Twitter, etc.). However, for some of the pages / processes, the bottom navigation disappears.

E.g. On Instagram, once you do the process of uploading a photo, the bottom navigation disappears and just shows the entire process from start to finish. The bottom navigation shows up again when you've completed the uploading.

So is it alright to assume that when you do the main goal / action for the app, the bottom navigation can be hidden to make the user complete the process without any distractions? Also, in what other instances should the navigation be hidden?

  • 1
    Bottom navigation is used specifically for navigation. When you are into a task that needs you to complete the task, from your example: Uploading a photo to Instagram, you don't have to navigate anywhere since that reduces your productivity in doing that single task. Hence, if you are into a task that requires the user's prime focus on completing it, navigation can be hidden until the user completes or aborts the task. Jun 10, 2016 at 10:04
  • You could also hide the bottom navigation when you need the extra screen real estate, similar to how some top navigations are hidden, and then you can reveal the navigation on scroll. This is a common design pattern for top navs and can be used for bottom navigations as well.
    – Brett East
    Jun 14, 2016 at 0:18

3 Answers 3


This relates as much to UX patterns as it does to operating system patterns.

When you learn a bit of Swift, you realize it's not about "hiding the bottom navigation", but actually about using a different form of presentation for the content you're about to show.

If you're designing for iOS, Apple describes it best in the iOS Human Interface Guidelines:

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

Here's another good reference, also from the Guidelines, which gives some insight into why Instagram decided to use a modal view:

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.

But keep in mind: different programming languages (e.g.: Android) may implement patterns and presentations in different ways.

If iOS is your choice of platform, I highly recommend you take your time to read the complete iOS Human Interface Guidelines, and maybe even learn a bit of Swift yourself. Understanding how the system works and its limitations will greatly help you understand the best decisions for specific use cases.


few months ago i've got the same problem. so i did some research. I think if the app is a scrollable one like instagram (you know what i am saying) or aliexpress etc. it should be hide when scrolling it down. this trick will give more space to the contents. if its a app which scroll sideways you do not need it to hide.

also read this article for some more knowledge about bottom navigations: https://uxplanet.org/perfect-bottom-navigation-for-mobile-app-effabbb98c0f#.it8ge1ce6


So straight answering your questions:

So is it alright to assume that when you do the main goal / action for the app, the bottom navigation can be hidden to make the user complete the process without any distractions?

Yes. The key phrase you mentioned is: "to make the user complete the process without any distractions". By hiding the navigation bar you don't only give the user more space to perform the action, you ALSO remove the distractions (like going to the search, profile, or the image feed tab on Instagram's case).

In what other instances should the navigation be hidden?

Whenever you want your user to FOCUS on performing an action/task. Like uploading a photo, zooming in-out on a picture to check it out better, or reading an important file/document. Removing distractions (like the navigation bar) is a good ux practice not because of the space, but because you focus your users attention on something, like performing an action.

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