When you open an app, what do you usually look for first? Or what is in an application that allows the user to choose between options or actions? The answer to these two questions is very clear. The answer is an important element in the user interface and user experience of applications.
Menus are useful and necessary, both in websites and in applications. Here, the main discussion is about menus and making them in Android applications, and we have nothing to do with website menus. Whether the applications are Android or not, they have common elements and features. There are things, like menus, that should be in all applications.
Maybe you and I, the user, often ignore the importance and role of menus in improving interaction with the application. But the app developer cannot and should not skip creating menus. There are different types of menus. Each menu is suitable for a task and includes different options.
In this article, I am talking about menus in Android. I will introduce you the types of menus in Android and I will also discuss a little bit about how to make menus in Android and the necessary codes for it. Finally, resources and sites where Android app developers can read more about menus in Android are introduced.
Table of Contents
Menus in Android
Why are menus and their design important? How many types of menus can be made with Android? For what purpose is each more suitable? And how to make them?
First, the importance of menus should be mentioned. Menus are important because they provide a set of actions that the user needs to interact with the application. How to categorize these tasks and arrange them next to each other and along with other page elements is a very important and sensitive issue. Because they directly affect the user experience and user interaction with the app.
Android app developer has 3 choices. That is, you can create 3 types of menus in Android (I will explain these 3 types of menus later). There is an important point about making menus in Android: the developer does not need to code the menu and its individual items (options or Items). Instead, in Android, there is Menu Resource (or menu resource), which is the place to define application menus. The developer can extend this resource and add details to it. In this resource, a standard XML format is defined for creating a menu, and the menu and its details must be defined within that format.
The main elements (tags) of that structure and menu source are:
- <menu>: The menu tag, which is a container for all items and groups, defines the menu.
- <item>: Each item (menu items or options) is defined in this tag. Submenu can be defined with this tag. Various properties may be added to each item, the most important of which are id, icon or title.
- <group>: This tag is optional and can be used if the developer wants to group menu items.
Advantages of using XML format for menus in Android
What are the advantages of this possibility in Android, namely the menu source and the standard XML format for defining and extending the menu, and why does it make it easier for the Android app developer?
- In this format, the menu structure is clear from the beginning. The developer can visualize this structure more easily.
- Using the menu source, the menu section and its codes and details are separated from other sections and codes.
- This feature allows the developer to define responsive menus for different devices.
Types of menus in Android (+ sample)
Android app developers have 3 options for creating a menu: Options Menu, Contextual Menu & Popup Menu. Creating each of these menus is done in the same basic structure (menu source) in Android. The developer does not have many possibilities to change the appearance of these menus. In the following, you will get to know the application and examples of these 3 types of menus.
1. Options Menu
We start with the Options menu. In this type of menu, the options available to the user are related to the main tasks that he can do in the app environment, such as searching, opening a new page, writing a new email, etc. Where this menu appears varies based on which version of Android the developer is using.
2. Context Menu
The second type of menu or Contextual Menu contains actions that the user can do on a specific element or image or text or whatever they choose. For example, when you select a photo and click and hold on it, a context menu will open for you with options to download, delete or edit. Text menu is a floating menu, where the developer has two choices for where to display this menu. The first choice is the same as in the example. The second option is the contextual action bar at the top of the page.
3. Popup Menu
The last menu in Android is pop-up menus. It is a bit difficult to explain the use of this menu in Android. It is better to give an example first. When the user is in the application environment and hovers the mouse over the element or element and a vertical menu opens that allows them to share or email that element or get more information about it, a pop-up menu opens for them. . As a result, the pop-up menu is specific to the German that the user sees. The difference between a pop-up menu and a text menu is that a pop-up menu may be placed in the app with one of the following two purposes: to introduce a specific task related to that element, or the application developer may have wanted a different or additional choice from Give the user those that are in the context menu.
Categorizing menu items or Menu Groups in Android
Another very useful option available to Android application developers is that they can collect different menu items in the app that have special and common features in a group called menu group. Then, he can easily define for this group, for example, that all the items in it should be hidden or disabled.