People tend to be unaware of an app’s navigation until it doesn’t meet their expectations. Your job is to implement navigation that supports the structure and purpose of your app without calling attention to itself. Navigation should feel natural and familiar, without dominating the user interface or diverting attention from content.
On Apple TV, the user typically navigates by moving through stacked screens of content. Each screen may present entry points to other screens, and provides a way—through the remote—to return to the previous screen or main menu. Generally, users move between screens by using standard interface elements such as tab bars, table views, collection views, and split views.
Make it fast and easy to get to content. People want to access content quickly, using minimal taps, clicks, and swipes. Simplify your information structure, and organize it in a way that requires the fewest screens.
Use touch gestures to create fluidity. Make it easy to move through focusable items with minimum friction and as few gestures as possible.
Take focus into consideration. Navigation on Apple TV isn’t always a single tap away. Because of the TV’s focus-based selection model, the user must move the remote’s focus to an interface element before interacting with it. Users may get frustrated if your navigation scheme requires too many gestures to achieve their goal. Follow guidelines in Focus and Selection.
Implement backward navigation through the Menu button. To create an easy and predictable navigation experience, let users navigate backward with the remote’s Menu button. During gameplay, pressing Menu should return to the game main menu or toggle an in-game menu that lets you return to the game main menu. Pressing Menu at the top level of an app or game should always exit to the Apple TV Home screen.
Don’t display a back button. People know that pressing Menu takes them back, so don’t waste space in your app with an extra control that duplicates this behavior.
If necessary, display a Cancel button. If the only visible button purchases or deletes something, it's good practice to include a Cancel button that returns to the previous screen.
Show a collection of content on a single screen, rather than splitting it up. Gestures on the remote make it easy to move quickly through a screen with lots of content. If you have a collection of focusable elements, consider showing it on a single screen to keep navigation simple.
Use standard navigation components. If your app uses UIKit to implement its user interface, use standard navigation controls such as page controls, tab bars, segmented controls, table views, collection views, and split views. People are already familiar with these controls, and will intuitively know how to get around your app. Learn about these navigation components in Interface Elements.
Favor horizontal navigation of content. Swiping to the side is easier and more natural than swiping up and down. Consider this when choosing or designing layouts for your content.