I am an app developer but not an Android user. My app is a baseball card collection management tool. The main screen displays the list of baseball cards which the user has entered into the database. Now I am working on adding a feature to allow the user to delete.

My question is what are the steps that a typical Android user will expect in order to accomplish this task? I am considering adding a checkbox to the right of each list item. Then the user can select cards by tapping (or long tapping?) each card they wish to delete. Then the user selects a menu item or taps on the correct button on the Action Bar to finalize the deletion.use

Is this a reasonable and expected user experience?

1 Answer 1


The most common way to do this is using a Contextual Action Bar (CAB) which is usually accessed by long pressing an element. The user can then select the items they want to delete and click the delete icon in the action bar which will then delete the items and return the user to the original screen. When using the CAB most users would expect to see a checkbox on the list elements, and for them to highlight when selected. Telling the user how many items are selected in the action bar is also recommended.

Contextual Action Bar in use

One thing to note is that the tick on the left hand side of the CAB is not the "Yes I want to delete" button but more of a "I'm done here" button, once the user clicks the delete button then the action will immediately be implemented and the CAB will close.

There is another way to allow users to delete single items which is to put an overflow icon on the element which then has the option to delete on it. This allows for the removal of a single item without needing to go into the CAB. This is more commonly used with the card UI.

Overflow icons on a list view
This shows a list view with the overflow icons (3 dots on top of each other on the right hand side)

Overflow icons on cards ui
And this shows the overflow icons on a card layout

If you are new to Android development then I suggest you familiarise yourself with the Android Guidelines. Other places that can give you a good idea how Android works include:

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