I have a form-like page in an iPhone page. Are we really required to put a Cancel button along with Submit button?

P.S: The user can go back by using the regular Back button in the left top corner.

  • Can you add more details please? Maybe show the design and explain what the app does? Is the back button global or just for this page?
    – UXerUIer
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 13:41
  • And what do you mean by an iPhone "page"? Is this a web site on an iPhone, or an actual App?
    – Mattynabib
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 15:37

3 Answers 3


The standard in iOS is

  • detail pages/ edit pages - which slide in from the right, have a back button with < symbol.
  • modal pages (usually for "new" stuff) - which slide in from the bottom, have a cancel button (top left) and save button (top right)

The general idea is (as far as I can tell) is that the edit pages (with back button) let you edit stuff in real time: going back means that all changes will be saved

And the modal pages work differently: pressing cancel means that any changes will NOT be saved.

E.g. in iOS notes app, creating a new note looks like this: new note

You can press ready or back, in both cases your edits will be saved.

In iOS mail, you get a Cancel button in top left if you create a new mail. Cancel means "do not save" (or typically a pop up asking if you are sure you want to discard changes).

So in your case I would say:

  • if any edits are saved: back-button top left is conform convention
  • if any edits are discarded, use a top-left cancel-button

You can leave it out, to the best of my knowledge Apple isn't so strict as to look through apps and say they can't be in their app store simply because they don't like the UI, so it isn't "required", but many would advise against it unless you have a specific reason, and you understand why it is common practice among the best iOS apps, including those from apple; you should understand rules before you choose to break them.

A couple things to consider include:

  • You would be breaking convention, and a user might expect one, and be confused when they don't see a cancel button
  • The back button is in the top left, most users are right handed, and any iPhone users, especially iPhone plus users, using their phone one handed will have to use the accessibility shortcut or reach uncomfortably in order to preform that action.

There are plenty of other things to consider, but you CAN make everything in comic sans and make the app's interface upside down; if your app's design is justifiably better for having done something differently, it's your call on whether you do that, but whether it's a good idea requires either more info, or for you to consider the implications of that design decision.


What is your objection to having the cancel button there? As long as the standard page Back control and it is clear to the user that they may use it, you might not need one.

However, if this is a form that the user may fill out part way and then decide to leave, having an explicit Cancel control is a bit more intuitive... just make sure to give them a "dirty save" message as well before canceling if they've filled anything out; something along the lines of "Canceling will abandon any changes you've made to this form; are you sure you want to do this?"

I don't know if there is a requirement to present a Cancel control along with any Submit control (I haven't found one yet), but looking in the iOS development guidelines should give you some ideas:


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