Structure your media app 2) Plan browsing views

2) Plan browsing views

Once you determine the top-level navigation tabs for your app (task 1), you need to make a few decisions about the browseable content views and how they are organized.

Because car makers take care of the content-view styling and the browsing navigation, your only design task with respect to browsing is to plan what’s in each view.

Specifically, you need to decide the following:

  • How many levels deep your content goes
  • How each top-level and lower-level browsing view will be formatted (grid or list)
  • Whether the content in any browsing view will be grouped into subcategories
  • Whether you want to implement search within your app as an aid to browsing

As you decide how to structure your content, remember that having fewer levels is better, to minimize cognitive load on drivers. Grouping content into subcategories within a browsing view (with subheaders) can help you to make your hierarchy flatter.

Technical note:
The content hierarchy of your app is determined by how you define the root media item, its children, the children of those children, and so on. You can apply content styles to browsable media items to specify whether their children display in grid or list views and whether they are grouped under titles. For details, consult Build your content hierarchy and Apply content styles.

If you choose to implement in-app search, you won’t need to design the search interface. Car makers design both the search affordance and the keyboards.

Keep in mind the guidelines below.

Browsing view guidelines

Requirement level



App developers must:

  • Provide subheader text if you decide to create subcategories within a browsing view


App developers should:

  • Avoid browsable content that extends more than three levels deep from the top level


App developers may:

  • For each browsing view, determine whether to display content in a grid or in a list (list is the default)
  • Decide whether to implement an in-app search function


  • Avoid driver distraction: Minimize cognitive load required to browse content.
  • Optimize content display: Use grid or list as appropriate for the content category. (Mixing grid and list in a single view is not currently supported.)