How to let Options Menu on Android phones more intuitive for the users

As you know, Android displays Options Menu in a common style and the users may click different buttons on the Options Menu to do different operations on the current screen. And the Android phones have a Menu key to pop up the Options Menu. So, a question is, when first navigating to a new screen, the users have to remember to press Menu key to see if there is Options Menu for the current screen, or else, some functionality will be easily ignored. Sometimes it is really confused for the users, especially for those who are not very familiar with Android phones.

So , how to make the Options Menu intuitive as other phones, such as non-touch phones which will always have softkeys on the screen. There is an app named ShopSavvy which does this very well from which we can get some hints. It has a Menu button displaying in the top right corner of its title bar if the current screen has Options Menu.  When clicking the Menu button, the Options Menu will be popped up. Of course, the user can also press the Menu key to show the Options Menu. In such way, the Options Menu will be more intuitive and friendly.

In the below snapshots, the first have the Menu button in the top right corner of its title bar, and the second doesn’t have it since the screen doesn’t have Options Menu.

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