"Up button" concept is different from "Back button". In android design patterns it said we should not put "Back button" in apps.

Up button vs Back button

In Lollipop the "Up button" looks similar to the Back button (on previous version of System and Chrome desktop browser)

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For Lollipop, should we use "Up button" concept or use it as "Back button"?


Yes, you should use the up button. It may “look like a back button” on Lollipop, specially if you’ve seen iOS, but the behavior is still the same, it didn’t change. Check the Play Store app, for example.

It is important to remember that the aesthetics of the back button on Android itself also changed, it is now a triangle, so they are not really similar considering the platform.

Note that I'm not even discussing if the back button itself is confusing or useful for users, that's another discussion entirely. That said, generally, I wouldn’t break the platform's guideline.


Users do not really see the "Up" button that you have described as "Going up". For users both "Up" and "Back" buttons are just "Back" buttons.

Android has a back button on the device/hardware itself. This creates a lot of UX issues for the users. Because users need to jump back and forth from hardware button to software buttons while they are browsing the app and this creates discontinuity. So, I think providing back button inside the Android app will actually solve this issue.


The Up button should appear only when you have drilled into a particular item within an app and should never take the user out of the current app, while pressing the Back key can even exit the current app and drop you into another app altogether.


Why can't we have bread crumbs or navigator instead?

Home > Categories > Books > Book ABC > Author

After Back button

Home > Categories > Books > Book ABC

  • Breadcrumbs don't solve or relate to the problems of Android "Up button". – Bank Mar 23 '15 at 1:39

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