5 — Constantly orientate your users

You can imagine your app as a new city ready to be explored. The user is getting from one destination to another, making decisions and taking actions along the way, to get to somewhere else. Like anyone in a new city, it’s rarely fun to feel completely lost. The sheer popularity of having interactive maps on the phone is not just to help people get to destinations quicker but that they help reduce feelings of confusion, anxiety, worry, or even panic.

The screens that make up your app are those contexts where relatable objectives and actions take place. Like destinations, people experience when journeying through a city. Regardless of where the user is within your app, it should be easy to answer the following orientation questions.

  • Where am I now? Is it easy to recognise, understand and comprehend the destination?
  • Where did I come from? Was it a logical progression from the last place to here?
  • Where do I go next? It is clear what I would do next to move on?
  • How the hell do I get out of here?! Is there a clearly marked fire exit?


Through visual cues, logical progression or even through motion, a user should know where they are and where they came from. From there they should know where to go next and how to get out if needs be. A user should never feel lost or confused when navigating your app.

Further learning topics: Information Architecture

James Morris

Hey, I'm James 👋 I want to know what you think and would love some feedback. Just reach out over email. Say hey!