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I'm working on designing an Android and iOS app that requires to have a global "Add Item" button visible to users across all app pages.

Some of the options that came to mind are as below:

  1. Adding a floating action button
  2. Creating an add button in bottom navigation menu

What would be other alternatives?

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In my opinion rather than inventing the wheel its good to adopt and use some standard interactions that end users are already accustomed to .It helps you reduce find-ability issues .From the end-users point of view they will already be used to these interaction patterns and will not face any issue to figure out what these new interaction mean. I suggest that go with standard android and ios best practices .

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The right choice depends on the type of app it is, but there are an unlimited number of options here, including:

  • Static action button placed anywhere (that can't be covered on the given screen)
  • Static action button that's available on every page (a la Apple's Tab Bar, which is an option on Android too)
  • Dynamic action button that disappears and reappears, similar to the floating action button but that isn't just hovering over other content, and also disappears when certain actions occur (like how on Chrome mobile the menus appear and disappear when scrolling up and down, respectively)

I'd also point to this post from UI about why floating buttons aren't necessarily the best option, based on the top answer (which I agree with).

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IMHO I think it is better (for the user) if the developers can adopt standard Android and iOS UI components that the end users are already accustomed to. For example, I once installed Google's Hangouts app to my mum's iPhone (she has only used an iPhone). She couldn't find the "Compose new message" button even though there was big + button in a green circle (FAB). When I told her, that the big + button (FAB) is used to create new messages, she complained that usually, it is up in the top. She has never used an Android, nor an app with material design. It was a good lesson for me, and I always discourage when others try to port UI components from other platforms. You can call your app has a decent UX, only if it looks like it belongs in the platform. An iOS app should not look like an Android app, nor an Android app should look like an iOS app.

Unfortunately Google's own apps do not follow this paradigm (for marketing purposes?), however, Whatsapp does a remarkable job in using correct UI components.

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