I am designing an app where there is a list of users, the list covers the whole screen. For each item in the list there are 4 actions that can be performed. So what would be a good, standard way of designing the choice of action.

1) I can have 4 buttons in each item

  • which will clutter the screen with 4 buttons repeated for each item,
  • but might be convenient.

2) I can have a popup which can popup menu/buttons for each item

  • better to have popup when you press anywhere on the item or
  • popup when you click on an icon
  • popup might be less convenient

3) I can even have a combination of the of the above 2 approaches

  • this might not be a very consistent experience for the user.

I am trying to figure out if there is a standard or what approach is better. Or does anyone know apps that does this so that I can evaluate, I actually did not find an app yet.

3 Answers 3


What is the frequency of use for each action ?

If it is 25% for each you should use a second menu where each option is equal. But you often have one "main option" (>60%) and secondary ones, then you can define that a simple click is for the main option and an other button lead to the secondary menu.


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

  • Thanks for the answer. I was thinking of a popup menu, not a expanded menu option.
    – Shawn Khan
    Nov 23, 2013 at 8:12

(1) Four buttons on a list item: It will clutter.
(2) Using a popup menu: I truly think it is the best option.
(3) Both solutions: I don't see a reason to be redundant if showing all buttons isn't a good solution.

Why the (2) popup menu?
Generally speaking, as you are using Android, the standard floating context menu is designed for this kind of situation: developer.android.com/guide/topics/ui/menus.html.

In a floating context menu. A menu appears as a floating list of menu items (similar to a dialog) when the user performs a long-click (press and hold) on a view that declares support for a context menu. Users can perform a contextual action on one item at a time.

(1) Frequency: (a) I just read the list and ocasionally have to perform an action or (b) I frequently have to do something?

In (a) the default behavior of the floating context menu, a long-click, will work nicely.

In (b) a long-click may not be ideal, you might want to use action buttons on line items which is also a standard element of Android: developer.android.com/design/building-blocks/lists.html. Consider creating an icon that indicates that an action can be performed and then show the menu for the user for him to decide what to do.

(2) Batch: Should I be able to choose many items to perform the same action to all of them? Consider the contextual action mode. You can see it on the same link above.


You can follow the Gallery approach in Android. For individual items or single item selected use the popup. If more than one items are selected then use the buttons, that way working with more than one item will be easier and your screen will come out clean.

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.