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I am trying to decide where to place my main buttons on my app home screen.

enter image description here

Considering most screens are getting larger on apps, i think it makes more sense to place all of the buttons at the bottom, and then slide them down when a user interacts with the map.

What are your thoughts and suggestions on this - thanks in advance.

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Android

Since this is your home screen, you could use the action bar to display a) the app name and b) the actions:

enter image description here

In particular, as per Android Design Guidelines:

3. Action buttons - Show the most important actions of your app in the actions section. Actions that don't fit in the action bar are moved automatically to the action overflow. Long-press on an icon to view the action's name.

In your case, you could place "Request", "Send" and "Question" in the top bar as icons:

enter image description here

Does it work? In my opinion not so well, for at least 2 reasons:

  1. You have 3 main actions, while many Android devices (as the Nexus 5 I've used in the wireframe) only fit 2 icons. If the 3 actions are equally important, you cannot hide one of them.
  2. "Request", "Send" and "Question" are not standard icons, so these icons are potentially confusing for the user.

Possible solutions are:

  1. If one of the 3 actions is secondary (but from your wireframe they all seem equally necessary), you may consider to move it to the action overflow.
  2. Split up content across multiple action bars, using the bottom bar to show the 3 main actions.

Android guidelines for bottom bars are in fact:

  1. Bottom bar - To display actions and, if necessary, the action overflow, use the bottom bar.

This is how the app would look like in this case:

enter image description here

iOS

iOS Human Interface Guidelines define three main styles of navigation:

  1. Hierarchical - Use a navigation bar to give users an easy way to traverse a hierarchy of data. The navigation bar’s title can show users their current position in the hierarchy; the back button makes it easy to return to the previous level.
  2. Flat - Use a tab bar to display several peer categories of content or functionality. A tab bar is a good way to support a flat information architecture and its persistence lets people switch between categories regardless of their current location.
  3. Content or experience driven - Use a page control when each app screen represents an individual instance of the same type of item or page. A page control is good for showing users how many items or pages are available and which one is currently displayed. For example, Weather uses a page control to show how many location-specific weather pages the user has opened.

You can choose the best style of navigation according to you app's content structure.

  • Wow, thank you so much for going into detail. I've always been an iOS user but i've been playing with a lot of different Android phones lately and i've found it annoyingly hard to reach buttons at the top of large screens (the new iPhone will undoubtedly have a larger screen too), whereas everything at the bottom of a screen is easy to reach. I would also like to over as much real estate as possible to the map on the home screen, and that is the main reason i don't want to place a bar at the top, however all of the other screens do have a bar at the top. – oo7 Sep 6 '14 at 9:05

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