Navigation Rail - UI Element

What is a navigation rail?

Navigation Rails are UI elements found in medium or large layouts – both websites and applications. They are vertical columns placed on either side of the main content area, usually to the left or right of the screen.

Navigation Rails serve as a navigation aid and provide easy access to various sections, features, or platform options. They support up to 7 navigation items and are always in the exact location – even when going from different screens within an app. In web design, sidebar navigation contains links to different pages, categories, or areas of the website.

Navigation Rail in UI Design
Navigation Rails by uinkits

When To Use Navigation Rails?

Navigation Rails can be used on any website, depending on your goals. But they are especially important in these cases:

  • Content-Heavy Platforms

Content-heavy platforms represent news websites, blogs, or social media platforms. These platforms need navigation rails because they have a lot of information and various sections to navigate through.

  • SaaS Platforms and Desktop Applications

Navigation rails are becoming more and more popular on SaaS platforms and desktop applications. They act as the central hub of these platforms because users need to switch between different sections or features. Here, sidebars are not only used for navigational purposes. They can also show users the next steps they must follow and their progress.

  • eCommerce Platforms

The more products or services the online store offers, the more links will be needed. Navigation rails are used to group categories and filter the products. This way, they offer users an efficient and organized structure.

How To Use Navigation Rails


  1. Navigation Container
  2. Menu/Index – optional
  3. Action Button – optional
  4. Active Indicator
  5. Active Icon
  6. Active Label – optional
  7. Inactive Icon
  8. Badge (large)
  9. Badge label (large) – optional
  10. Badge (small)
  11. Inactive Label Text – optional


  • Navigation Items: The primary purpose of a navigation rail is to provide easy access to different sections or pages of the website or application. Do not forget about the navigation links.
  • Icons or Symbols: They are visual cues that help users recognize the purpose of each link without relying on textual descriptions (labels).
  • Call-To-Action Buttons: Navigation rails often feature essential CTAs that prompt users to take specific actions – for example, signing up for newsletters, subscribing to services, or initiating contact.
  • Social Media Links: These can help promote your social media presence and expand your brand’s online presence.
  • User Profile: Include account settings, preferences, and personalized content.


When a user interface scrolls horizontally, the navigation rail can either scroll off-screen or stay in a fixed position. Add a divider to indicate that the content is scrolling underneath the navigation rail.


When a user selects another navigation item (different from the initial item), the platform should immediately navigate to the destination page that the new item triggered. This is done through a transition pattern and leaves the other pages inactive.

If the user selects the same navigation item that it is currently on, the app might reset to the initial place of the screen (usually the top). But it could also leave the item fully inactive, and the action does not trigger anything on the page, leaving the screen as it is.

Use the Navigation Rail UI Element in Your UI/UX Design With uinkits

Our uinkits system is a Figma Design System and UI Kits that include UI components that allow you, as a UI UX designer, to create your design products as quickly as pressing a button. You can find navigation rails and everything you need to create the perfect product design in Figma – all in just a few clicks. All you have to do is take the UI design component you need, and you’re ready to use it in your designs!

So, get your uinkits package and start designing now!