Determining Your Root Menu Strategy

What Is the Root Menu?

The root menu refers to your app’s top level navigation items. In the tabbed layout, they are the icons that display at the bottom of your app in iOS and across the top in Android. They are your main navigation items and always display to your app users as they navigate your app. You can have up to five containers in your app’s root menu.


Tips for Optimizing Your App’s Root Menu

The most important thing to remember is that your app is unique. Your audience and the goals of your app should dictate what appears in the root menu. Although there may be common threads running throughout many of our apps, the root menu should be tailored to the unique needs of your destination.

Designing Your ‘Home’ Screen

The contents of the first container in your root menu will be what the user sees when they first open the app. Therefore, it’s a good idea to spend time considering its design and using quality images.

One approach is to use pre-processed images in your first container. You can use these images to add fun backgrounds, text or icons to make your app more appealing. Below are some examples of client apps that are using this strategy very well:



Visit El Paso


Visit New Jersey


Another approach involves splitting a single vertical image into several smaller images to be used on each item. That way, they will all work together to display the large image.

Visit Taos


Finally, you could combine the two styles for an extra snazzy look:

Visit Eau Claire


Nickel Plate District - Fishers, IN


Consolidate Content

It can be tempting to make your app’s root menu a replica of your website’s main menu. For example, initially you may think of making ‘Eat’, ’Stay’ and ‘Play’ three of your root containers. However, since your app has limited space, those might be better combined into one ‘Explore’ container. Below are some reasons why this is a good choice:

It frees up space in the root me for things like events, messages, favorites, etc. You can show the user the Eat, Stay, and Play sections on the home screen if you put them in the first container.

Highlight Special Features

Do you have any special features or experiences offered in your app? For example, do you have an audio walking tour or the ability to FaceTime with someone in the visitor center? Features like these are what make your app unique and should be prominently displayed in the root menu.

Put the User First

It’s always a good idea to put yourself in the app user’s place. Ask yourself, "If I were the traveler, what information would I find most helpful and interesting?" Better yet, why not ask your audience? Go to social media or your email list and poll the public to find out what information they’re most interested in.

Ask for Assistance

If you’d like to discuss your root menu structure, please reach out to your Client Success Manager. We’d be happy to advise you on the unique aspects of your situation. Please send us a ticket via the Client Portal.

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