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Should the OK/Cancel buttons be aligned right or centered?

For greater usability, how should buttons be aligned at the end of input-forms?

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marked as duplicate by Charles Boyung, ChrisF, Patrick McElhaney Feb 5 '11 at 0:48

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What does everyone else think, is this a duplicate? ui.stackexchange.com/questions/37/… –  Patrick McElhaney Feb 3 '11 at 18:46
    
Yes, it most definitely is a duplicate –  Charles Boyung Feb 4 '11 at 14:54
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Kartik,

This is an old chestnut on which debate has persisted for years. I recommend you start by looking at this thread and exploring some of the resources it links to:

What are the best practices of button alignment?

See also this article:

The Best Way to Align Buttons on Different Forms

Make sure to look at the comments where some UXers discuss strengths and weaknesses of the article.

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+1 nice reference –  Dan Barak Feb 3 '11 at 14:40
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This is explained nicely, along with several usability experiments, in the book 'Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks', specifically the chapter on Actions. I recommend reading this for a much better background.

However, I'll summarize the gist of it here:

  1. Align primary actions (such as the 'Submit' button) with the input fields. This creates a clear path to completion.
  2. If you have more than one button (such as 'Submit' and 'Cancel'), make sure there's a good visual distinction between the primary action (Submit) and the secondary action (Cancel). Different colored buttons turns out to work better than using a Submit button and a Cancel link, as many sites do.
  3. As for the alignment of 2 or more buttons, putting them right next to each other (not Cancel on the one side and Submit on the other) on the right-hand side or left-hand side works about equally well, but there seems to be an advantage to aligning the submit button with the input fields, and the cancel (or back) button next to that (with a different color).

Again, I recommend reading the book for more detail. It's a quick and interesting read.

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