I've just added NFC functionality to my Android app, and I need to expose it to the user. I don't have a separate UX specialist or tech writer to hand this off to, so I want to make sure I don't write it in programmer-speak. I'm looking for a list of standard conventions to follow in user-visible texts regarding NFC (in Android), if such a thing exists. It should answer detail questions like:

  • Do you "tap" or "scan" a tag?
  • Is there a standard icon or something to show the user the functionality is available?
  • Is there an accepted way of telling the user an NFC transaction was successful or unsuccessful?

I'm not looking for general UX advice, as I know in general how the user interacts with the feature, and what the workflow is; I'm interested in getting these details right and consistent with other apps.

1 Answer 1


Edit: I just found out that software developers are allowed to use the official NFC logo. It's free to use but a license agreement has to be accepted. See this page for more info.

That being said, the following still applies.

This is how the NFC functionaility is shown in the quick settings of my android phone (running cyanogenmod 10.1). Be aware that I don't know whether this is part of the official Android Open Source Platform (AOSP) drawables, or if it's an addition made by cyanogenmod team.

The usage of this icon is consistent across the whole OS though, for instance the "profiles" menu uses the same icon.

The tile is blue because NFC is currently activated (the tile itself acts like a toggle).

NFC tile in the quick settings

  • Hm, I don't have an NFC icon on that menu on my Nexus 4, not sure if that only shows up when you're near a tag or what though
    – Ben Brocka
    Feb 5, 2013 at 15:15
  • No, as Daniele says, it's only in Cyanogenmod.
    – Dan Hulme
    Feb 5, 2013 at 15:16

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