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I'm working on UI that follows Apple's UI Guidelines. Currently I'm developing a setup wizard UI but I'm confused about arrangement of "Cancel", "Next" and "Back" buttons. My current implementation is:

"Cancel", "Back", "Next"

But I want to make sure that my arrangements follows apple's guidelines. I tried to search internet a lot but couldn't find anything on apple that includes all of these three buttons. Please help me find out standard arrangement of these buttons in apple UI or refer me a good link for that.

Thanks a lot in advance.

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What's the difference between cancel and back in this case? And where are these buttons presented? In a dialogue or within the main interface of the application? – Ruudt May 2 '14 at 9:54
Is this a setup wizard that is separate from the installation wizard? – nadyne May 2 '14 at 16:11

I think because cancel and back are more or less the same thing in most situations you can't find any similar examples. However, Apple always places the confirmation button to the far right and the cancel button next to it on the left. Apple also uses less spacing between confirm and cancel than between the other buttons.


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This is an interesting question because it involves the use of next/back buttons. From a UX perspective, both are associated and relate to navigation and so should be placed adjacent to one another as not only is it logical to do so, it follows a design pattern anticipated by users.

The next button should be placed to the far right, as this tends to be an indicator of a content change/confirmation section- additionally think of it like turning the pages of a book, the main flow is to turn to the next page (users rarely go back in comparison), so the button should be placed on the 'page edge' e.g. the far right.

This means the back button should be adjacent to this on the left, because it relates to the next button, and the assumed position will be beside it to the left.

This simply leaves the cancel button, the remaining place being to the left of the back button, however as it isn't a relates navigation control, per se, you may want to separate it from the back./next buttons with some additional spacing to make its purpose clear and reduce the chance of erroneous button clicks.

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Although I like your reasoning, placing the cancel button separated from the confirmation-button, would break consistency within the system (in this case Apple UI) – Ruudt May 2 '14 at 9:36
@Ruudt- you forget, there is no confirm button. Proximity indicates association. – SW4 May 2 '14 at 9:40
@Ruudt - in this context, back/next would be the same as the cancel/print buttons in one of your examples, the cancel button would then be e.g. where 'PDF' is (or a little closer likely). – SW4 May 2 '14 at 9:41
With confirm i mean confirming the intended action, probably next in this case. – Ruudt May 2 '14 at 9:53

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