What is the recommended (optimal) screen flow for adding items to a list in a mobile app?

The two options I came up with are:

  1. (Shopping Cart Style) Start with a blank form for adding or finding a new item. After hitting the save/add button, clear out the form so the user can add more items. Include a menu button to see the list of all the items added.

  2. (Contact List Style) Start with a list of items. User hits a menu button to open a form for adding or finding a new item. After saving the item, the user goes back automatically to the list of items.

Which one is better, and is there any other way of doing this?

2 Answers 2


Another option is to use the list view, but provide a add icon for each list entry so user doesnt have to tap on the menu btn. You can tap as many times to increment qty or disable add if only one unit can be added at a time.

Have a search icon in toolbar (top or bottom) to search for an item.

For new users and even generally i think "list of items" is better as one can see the items that are available. Also you can use promotions etc to showcase new items. This really depends on what the application is designed for.


Since you want to do it in the mobile app, it is better not to use the shopping cart style. I attached a pic in the following. This is very easy to use and clear in the design, especially for mobile app. Pulling down to create an item and when you click on the item, it allows you to edit. Hope it helps.

enter image description here

  • Thanks for the suggestion but your recommendation seems to be very platform-specific (iOS) and would not apply to the UI guidelines for Android or other platforms. Can you elaborate on why the shopping-cart style is not a good option?
    – swbandit
    Oct 1, 2014 at 14:46
  • The shopping cart form cannot allow user to see things that have been added while they are adding items. If a user wants to add many items, it is better to let them see the whole list and at the same time they can add the things that haven't been added. Most users won't really remember which has been added and which hasn't. In my opinion, it is better to create an app that don't make me think when I am using it. Hope it helps.
    – Shin
    Oct 1, 2014 at 15:30

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