Got an iPhone app project and would like to get feedback on users noticing bottom bar actions i.e., share, add something, or delete? I've noticed some difference of opinions with my peers where some may feel putting actions in a bottom toolbar on a tablet may be diminished if the user isn't guided visually (too much negative space) with some eye tracking to the toolbar area.

My assumption is most apps on a tablet invite more exploring than with users on the phone viewing in short bursts. Noticing a bottom toolbar should be minimal.


  • Why don't you watch people complete a task that involves using the bottom toolbar? For example, ask someone to delete (don't say that in your task) something and observe how noticeable the bottom toolbar actually is.
    – erik_lev
    Jul 14, 2014 at 19:46
  • Yea user testing is the usual approach to find out. Just seeing if anyone has already done it or noticed issues. Thanks.
    – Mobile Q
    Jul 14, 2014 at 20:00
  • It is likely to differ based on application type, user, task, etc.
    – erik_lev
    Jul 14, 2014 at 21:05

2 Answers 2


According to Apple's official iOS Human Interface Guidelines, page 147, "A toolbar always appears at the bottom edge of a screen or view on an iPhone". Therefore, I would recommend following their recommendations.

  • Not to mention, your keyboard, home screen buttons, etc. are all at the bottom. It seems that your eye would naturally flow from the bottom up. That's just my thought though. Jul 14, 2014 at 23:03
  • I agree Maverick. @John - This is for a tablet so speaking to the guidelines it can be placed at the top edge, which leads me to ask about awareness. I think looking at the guidelines again helps without actually testing this.
    – Mobile Q
    Jul 16, 2014 at 16:37

Although the usage of bottom bars is encouraged, it doesn't seem like you would need them for your application.

  • A 'plus' icon at the top right would serve as an add button.
  • A delete could be implemented by swiping the item to the side.
  • You could replace the more button in the image below to share instead.

You could always display a short tutorial to familiarize your app demographic to the UI.

image of swipe to delete

  • 1
    Sure, but a lot of users don't know to swipe left for more features. It's a "hidden" power-user feature, no matter how many people use it. Jul 15, 2014 at 15:17
  • Thanks Adam. Not giving too much of the project away, this app's demographic may not know the intent of some action to be taken if they are hidden behind gesture. Also there are other action need to be taken on the screen so let's just say to draw up a framework, there will be a need for bottom bar. But this is helpful, thanks.
    – Mobile Q
    Jul 15, 2014 at 17:58
  • You could always display a tutorial on first start-up.
    – user1
    Jul 15, 2014 at 19:49

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