When I want to add a new contact on stock Android 5.1, I'm presented with this activity:

enter image description here

What I've never understood about this is why isn't there a "save" option/button? Instead, when you tap the back arrow, a message informs you that the contacts is actually saved.

Most of the times, when I see no save option, I assume it would save the content automatically (like Google Docs, ...) which is not the case here.

I'm fairly new to UI/UX design and was wondering:

What reason could be behind it? Is it considered a good practice? Have you seen any similar pattern (on mobile or web)?

  • 1
    This has been bothering me too for ages. It's really unintuitive UX. It was improved in 6.0 but imo it's still not very good, I'm missing a really affirmative action to lead the user towards completing the action.
    – JHH
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 20:23

1 Answer 1


That's strange, what version do you have? I have a tick in the top right which saves the contact for me.

enter image description here

  • Strange indeed. I'm on stock 5.1 (Nexus 4) and as far as I remember, it was this way on 5.0, too. Yours is different, is it Marshmallow?
    – Mahm00d
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 8:26
  • Yes stock Marshmallow Nexus 6. So maybe they have realised the issue and fixed it. How are you meant to save then in that version? I only joined Android when Marshmallow came out, so not too familiar with older versions
    – stradled
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 8:35
  • Yes, it seems someone at Google has asked the same question! On Lollipop, You have to tap the back arrow! It then shows a toast that the contact is saved.
    – Mahm00d
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 8:41
  • @Mahm00d Just curious because I don't use an Android phone, but if you only get the back arrow how would you distinguish between saving and cancelling?
    – Michael Lai
    Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 4:02
  • @MichaelLai As far as I know, there is no cancelling. If you don't put anything in the fields and press back, it says empty contact can't be saved (obviously!) and nothing happens. But if there's value in the fields, it would save the contact anyways (even on phone's back button)...
    – Mahm00d
    Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 5:25

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