I am designing a mobile application, it is to schedule medical visits. The initial screen is the list of appointments and from there, user can navigate to see visit details. When the user is in the Visit Details screen, I designed the app bar like this, (Back icon to go to the Appointments list):

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When I presented to the client, they wanted the Back to be a Home icon, like this:

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However, I don't feel that is standard with mobile applications. Can you advise if the Home icon is "acceptable" for mobile applications? or if the app will get rejected because of the ios UI requirements?

4 Answers 4


I think it is based on the user expectations and as a user, I don't expect to see the "Home" button in the top-left of the screen in a mobile application

Expectations with the home button in an app

When I see just a Home icon, I would be hesitant to click it because I can't be sure of how to get back to the previous screen. Also, I might not be aware of where the Home button would take me. I'd recommend using the Home icon as a bottom navigation option. It also makes the button more reachable.

Navigation implications of the back button

Even if the "Home" and "Back" icons take the user to the same screen, I'd suggest following the navigation patterns and give the user a cascading flow. The back button gives the assurance that it would take you back to the screen you came here from. While "Home" represents navigation to the homepage or the landing page of the app.

I don't think it is advisable to disrupt the user/navigation flow.


It is acceptable, and also, a lot of famous apps use the home icon, including Youtube, Netflix and Instagram. The home Icon is one of the few universally recognized by users.

If you want to know more, I recommend this article by Nick Babich:

Icons are, by definition, a visual representation of an object, action, or idea. There are a few icons that enjoy mostly universal recognition from users. The icons for home, print, and the shopping cart are such instances.

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    There's a sizeable difference between using the Home icon in the navigation pane at the bottom and using it in the action pane on the top. The apps you mentioned, use the Home icon in the bottom navigation pane which is used as tabs or sections of the app. Even in these apps, when you navigate to a secondary screen, there is a back button on top Aug 9, 2019 at 5:33

I am not sure about the rejection... But, you say that you go from an overview to a detail page and back. So the back button is certainly the right choice. It tells the user, that she can go back to the overview. The home button instead suggests that the user can go back to home, from wherever she might be. The way it looks one could mistake the home icon as an element connected to the name. So it could say 'this is the home site of Martha' and not 'go to home'. The arrow on the other hand is clearer recognizable as an action element.

Another thought: home is a synonym used on websites not necessarily in apps.

The back icon seems to be the right choice. Having said so. The actual users might for some reason be more familiar with the home icon. So what you could do in a case like this is testing both icons with actual users (not stakeholders of the client). This will give you some insights and arguments for the discussion with your client.


The "back arrow" action in an Android Toolbar/ActionBar is an Up affordance, not a back button. It should not work the same as a back button and is not the same as the similarly placed iOS back button. So you shouldn't treat these things as the same, no matter what you do.

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