I tested an app yesterday that my team is working on. It has a hamburger navigation, and one of the items inside that nav is a callout to leave feedback. When you tap the feedback row, a modal screen flies in from below, and you get your feedback form.

Here's the problem. The only way to get out of the feedback form without leaving feedback (if you leave feedback, it's dismissed) is to tap the device's 'back' button. There's no way to dismiss it from within the view without leaving feedback. Is this a usability issue? I'm a strong believer that you shouldn't rely on the device's hardware buttons, but I can't find anything to back me up on this.

I've attached a very basic version of the functionality to show you guys what I mean.


Menu Items

Feedback Form

  • Curious.. could your feedback item open to another tab within the browser? That would leave your page as it is and allow another window for the form if you want to avoid the back button on android phones. However I will sadly admit I use the back button religiously on my droid phone esp. on facebook. May 29, 2013 at 17:08
  • It's a native app, not a web app. My question is more focused on the fact that this modal window can't be dismissed from the window itself. I use the back button on my Android device as well, but not having the option to dismiss the window bothered me so I wanted to get a second opinion. May 29, 2013 at 17:38
  • I would rely on the back button integrated into the android phones. I mean it's already there might as well use it, less code on your end. May 30, 2013 at 11:57

1 Answer 1


As per the guidelines, you should not create your own "back" buttons but instead rely on the device button for "temporal navigation". This guideline is in place because the device button's action cannot be clearly communicated and users will only be able to guess what it does if all apps act the same.

I don't think this quite works for modal dialogs however.

Luckily the guidelines offer more help: dialogs should have ok and cancel buttons and if you don't offer those "simply touching outside the popup dismisses it."

So, in your situation, I think there should be a clear way to dismiss the dialog besides the device button. Either through a cancel button, or by being able to tap outside the popup.

  • Having read everything in your link, as well as this one, I agree. Thanks a lot, I'm going to suggest they add a cancel or dismiss button at minimum. May 29, 2013 at 18:40

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