I have a contextual action bar (Android) with some text titles that are very specific to the context the app is used in:

Contextual Action Bar

(hidden under the menu: "Remove Unit", there are 5 items in the menu)

I prefer if CABs don't use the triple-dot menu, because I don't like the second-press that's required. At the same time, I can't possibly imagine icons that would properly assist the user in determining what each menu item would do.

These actions do belong in a CAB, but I'm wondering if there are thoughts on alternatives.

1 Answer 1


Based on the screenshot, this appears to be a game.

Create icons that make sense in the game's context, which the user will have to learn.

Why is this preferable:

  • Games tend to be used repeatedly, so ease of use for "experts" is more important than initial understanding.
  • With games, unlike, say, a web app, there is typically a user expectation that they will have to learn how it works, rather than understanding it immediately.
  • Visual style is more important for games, as it is part of the experience. Text labels for everything will be boring.

Of course, you will need some kind of help or tutorial to assist users in learning how it works.

  • You've teased out some information I didn't know I was missing! The app is actually more like a web app for a game, and I believe it tends more towards "app" than "game". There is a physical game, and the app is a utility for it. However, you've given me something to think about. The items in the menu have a physical representation, so if I had good enough drawing skills I could make icons for them.
    – rythos42
    Aug 10, 2016 at 16:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.