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In a case where we have only one action (that is having a info icon) should we still keep it in action overflow for Jelly Bean design or we can have it as an icon itself on the action bar? The reason being, the info is less often used so it can also goto action overflow. At the same time just for one action keeping stuffs in action overflow, kind of confused.

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Hi Santhosh, welcome to UX.se! I am unable to follow your question, partly because I am not fluent in the android terminology. Can you add screens/mockups of what you are talking about? –  rk. May 22 '13 at 19:22
    
Hi, Thanks Rk. I don't have a wires. In Android as per Jelly Bean standards we need to have a action overflow instead of device menu button. Kindly refer this link for more details developer.android.com/design/patterns/actionbar.html In that action overflow(label 4 in the link) we are supposed to have less frequented items. We do have action buttons as well (label 3 in link). Suppose we have ONLY info button where do you would keep as action overflow or a action button? We can argue both as action overflow as not used often as action button as it is only button and we can promote usage –  Santhosh May 22 '13 at 19:29

2 Answers 2

If you have only one action in the action overflow, then you really don't have an overflow as you can replace the action overflow with the action itself.

The only times I would recommend having an action overflow despite only having one action are:

  • When you want to limit or discourage the use of that action. For example, you may want to discourage use of "delete" or "block".
  • When there isn't an icon that would clearly indicate the action. In this case the action overflow allows you to use text to describe the action. Examples include actions such as "resubmit" or "publish".

In your case, it is clear that you don't want to discourage this action, and there is a clear, well known icon for the action. So I would recommend dropping the action overflow and having a single "Information" icon.

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This is the perfect time to reference the Android "FIT scheme"

If either F, I, or T apply, then it's appropriate for the action bar. Otherwise, it belongs in the action overflow.

F — Frequent Will people use this action at least 7 out of 10 times they visit the screen? Will they typically use it several times in a row? Would taking an extra step every time truly be burdensome?

I — Important Do you want everyone to discover this action because it's especially cool or a selling point? Is it something that needs to be effortless in the rare cases it's needed?

T — Typical Is it typically presented as a first-class action in similar apps? Given the context, would people be surprised if it were buried in the action overflow? If either F, I, or T apply, then it's appropriate for the action bar. Otherwise, it belongs in the action overflow.

While "info" may not be used every time a user is in your activity, it is generally burdensome to tap the action overflow first then tap the info button. When there is a space constraint due to other actions, put it in the overflow. When info will not compete with more important actions (as in this case), put it on the action bar.

As a disclaimer, the FIT scheme is subjective and you know your application's use cases better than I.

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Thanks Joey, it helps. While analysing this, I do noticed in Google Nexus Jelly Bean installed, default phone contacts, they have Favorites in action bar and Edit in overflow. This screen appears when user tries to edit a number. Was curious, any thoughts why google has this way. –  Santhosh May 22 '13 at 20:30

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