I'm designing an Android app and I'm not sure which is the best place to put my 'Create New Object' button.

Button in Action Bar Mock UpButton in List Mock Up

I originally placed the button in the action bar but a coworker said that it felt too crowded with the Play button in the action bar as well. He suggested to place it at the top or bottom of the list.

I agree with him that it feels too cluttered but I think it's the Android standard to put it in the action bar. Is using either location okay or is there a reason why I should choose one over the other?

  • Definitely go with the left. It is more standard, looks better, and is more discoverable.
    – powerj1984
    Jul 26, 2013 at 17:37

2 Answers 2


If the action pertains to only this screen I would have it under the last team as you do on the right. I make a practice of using the header bar for only two purposes: navigation and page labeling. You should only have action items on there that can take place from any place within the application.

It gets lost on the left, the right is more intuitive.

  • Overall agree, depending on how multiple teams are handled. I would suggest having the button at the top of the list, or have the button stick to the bottom once it reaches that location, so that it is always in view.
    – Keiwes
    Jul 25, 2013 at 18:42
  • 1
    Android doesn't follow your practice of just having the header bar for navigation and page labelling since they place their action button there as well. Your practice makes sense for iPhone and if it wasn't for Android's standards, I would follow that practice too. Now I realize that my problem is whether or not I want to ignore Android's standards. Android Action Bar
    – mgpugne
    Jul 26, 2013 at 15:14
  • This: > You should only have action items on there that can take place from any place within the application. Is completely wrong. Contextual items for a given screen are perfect for the ActionBar. Generally prefer the solution on the left (+ button in the ActionBar).
    – powerj1984
    Jul 26, 2013 at 17:38
  • "Completely wrong?" Disagree, this logic would suggest that having a drawer icon in the header bar on every page would be incorrect use as well. If you have an action state that can take place from anyplace on the application and it makes sense to do so it can live in the header bar just fine....for iPhone. It's obvious that I have not designed for Android and only for iPhone. Limited applied knowledge there, sorry.
    – Ryan
    Jul 26, 2013 at 19:28

Another aspect to consider would be the distance between the action buttons. In the second model (on the right), your controls are spread in triangle and the "Create New Item" Control will keep falling away as more and more teams are added. Consider the scale-ability and think of a situation in which 5 teams and multiple players under those teams have been crated. In this case "Create New Team" button wouldn't be visible to the user unless you scroll.

Considering these aspects, I would recommend the first model (on the left) over the second one. Definition of simplicity is making the interface simple in every aspect. If you make one aspect of the user interface simple at the cost of the other, then holistically speaking, your interface would have lost simplicity.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.