Buttons perform an action or activity in a software solution. Use this tag for questions about how buttons should be placed, styled, aligned or used to express their purpose and facilitate their operation.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

579
votes
15answers
90k views

Should “Yes, delete it” be red, or green?

Designing an interface for a CMS (Content Management System), I stumbled upon a paradox and I'm a bit confused about what to do and why to do. Context Before deleting an album, the user is asked to ...
360
votes
20answers
26k views

Why do people clear the screen multiple times when using a calculator?

I've noticed that most people when using a real or a virtual calculator, they hit the Clear button multiple times when clearing the screen (even though hitting it once is enough), so I started ...
251
votes
13answers
47k views

Should I use Yes/No or Ok/Cancel on my message box?

Semantically, the Yes/No buttons are roughly equivalent to the Ok/Cancel buttons, but in general what would you recommend to use? Should I always use Yes/No or always use Ok/Cancel? Or does it depend ...
158
votes
17answers
11k views

Should a toggle button show its current state or the state to which it will change?

I have a quick question about buttons that toggle between two states. (Think Play/Pause, or Shuffle/Regular Play.) As the title says, should the toggle show it's current state or the state to which it ...
155
votes
23answers
24k views

OK/Cancel on left/right?

Should OK button be on left of Cancel button or vice versa? Are there any studies suggesting either of the solutions?
113
votes
14answers
9k views

Who needs an external on/off Wi-Fi button?

It puzzles me that there are Laptops which are shipped with external physical Wi-Fi buttons. I see no real use of it, but it might have a historical explanation?! The only time one notice the external ...
94
votes
20answers
12k views

Toilet flush buttons

This question has been bugging me ever since I've started learning usability. I am talking about the two buttons for the flush : Full and half container. On one hand, the button shape has to ...
84
votes
7answers
8k views

What reason could Nintendo have had for putting the A and B buttons the wrong way round?

When Nintendo brought out it's first game system, the NES, it had a controller with four buttons: Select Start A B However, somewhere, a designer, in their infinite wisdom, decided that the A and ...
71
votes
9answers
7k views

Why is the “Record” icon always round and usually red?

I've been wondering why the symbol for 'record' is universally (AFAIK - has anyone seen exceptions?) a circle and usually red. Cameras, VCRs, voice recorders, smartphones, web apps... I've seen cases ...
61
votes
10answers
7k views

How do rounded corners affect usability?

How do rounded corners on buttons and containers affect usability? Do they make buttons look more clickable? When used on other non-button elements, do they make the site look more friendly? I'm ...
60
votes
10answers
6k views

“New” vs. “Create”

For buttons that initiate some content creation interaction, which label is better: "New X" or "Create X"? Are there specific uses that in which one is better than the other?
58
votes
16answers
7k views

Do you need a search button with a search box?

On websites with a search box, should you add a button they can click on, or will users understand a search box like on this site? The target group is not very technical, such as women aged 40-60.
48
votes
12answers
13k views

Why did early telephones use a rotary dial instead of 10 individual buttons?

I was watching a video of little kids trying to figure out how to use a rotary phone, and it was not immediately clear to any of them how the rotary mechanism was supposed to work. That got me ...
47
votes
9answers
8k views

Should a button become lighter or darker on hover?

We're having a discussion in the office about whether a button should become lighter or darker when a user hovers over it. Here are some examples from the field: Apple "Buy Now" button (Second is ...
46
votes
11answers
3k views

Submit and Reset button, what's the best order?

In a form with a Submit and a Reset button and the end, what's the best order for the user experience ? Submit first ? Or Reset first ?
43
votes
9answers
5k views

How can I make monochrome icons work?

My company has just implemented a monochrome icon theme in an attempt to transition to a more "modern" interface. Feedback from the first round of user testing has been mixed: Almost everybody ...
43
votes
11answers
4k views

When a button contains text and an icon, which should come first?

Assuming I'm optimizing for making it as fast and easy as possible for most users to find the button they need, what's the optimal ordering?
43
votes
10answers
8k views

Is a cancel button necessary in a web form?

Personally I have never used it. I don't put information in a form and then decide everything needs to be cleared. I would edit one field. Plus cancel in a UI suggests canceling an action which is in ...
43
votes
8answers
6k views

Is there a universally recognizable “Download” button?

I was trying to download software from a website below (I white-outed the software name, etc.): At first, I couldn't figure out which was the download button. The first button up top was painfully ...
41
votes
6answers
2k views

Should I provide feedback from a save button?

I'm currently in the process of developing a Windows Application which produces Word Documents. In the program there is the ability to save your progress (different to the "Save as a Word Document" ...
39
votes
21answers
3k views

Do I really need a login button?

We've been having a discussion in the office surrounding a login page we're developing for a new web application. The web application is in intranet-based application, and is mainly used by users who ...
36
votes
6answers
37k views

Default cursor on mouse over of a button is not a hand pointer

Why is the default cursor an arrow when you hover over an HTML <button>? I always thought that arrows let you select stuff, but hands let you execute an action. Since buttons execute actions, ...
35
votes
11answers
4k views

Can an OK button do nothing?

I guess the answer is probably "just be consistent" but if not I could use some fodder for arguments for and against. Here's the scenario A dialog box with a list of things to choose Something ...
35
votes
5answers
2k views

why are circular buttons in software/websites so rarely used?

Why are circular buttons in software/websites so rarely used? Is it purely convention or are there usability reasons behind this?
34
votes
10answers
2k views

What's the point in electronic devices beeping on keypress?

Many electronic devices, mostly cell phones, by default beep on keypress. What's the point in that? Once a key is pressed their state is changed and that's reflected in the graphic interface anyway. ...
34
votes
9answers
4k views

Why don't most elevator panels let you unselect?

We've all seen it in the movies where a kid will push all the buttons in an elevator. We've all likely done it - accidentally hit the wrong floor. There's no unselect after you select a floor in an ...
33
votes
2answers
2k views

What rules does Google use to make a button gray, blue, or red on their sites?

This has been an elusive topic, and I haven't yet been able to form my own conclusion about what Google's reasoning is to make a given button blue, red, or gray, given their latest design ethos. Take ...
32
votes
12answers
5k views

What are the differences between buttons and links?

What are the differences between buttons and links?
31
votes
4answers
2k views

Where should the GUI light source come from?

I know that historically the light source on GUIs is in the upper left, casting a shadow on the bottom-right of buttons and the upper left of fields. Now, I see some places (like Apple) use a top ...
31
votes
3answers
8k views

Do users understand the browser back button?

You hear a lot about not breaking the back button on websites, but can you assume that most users know and use the back button? Is it redundant to add a JavaScript or HTML back button/link on a page? ...
29
votes
14answers
4k views

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

Where should I put the OK/Cancel buttons on my dialogs? At the bottom centered or aligned right? I've seen both and I personally don't care, but I want to create a consistant look across my ...
28
votes
7answers
4k views

Should we use 'Title Case' or 'Sentence case' for headlines and buttons?

I am wondering if we should use Title Case or Sentence case for buttons and headings in websites and web/mobile apps? Title Case:     Sentence Case:     In Yahoo's UI ...
28
votes
6answers
1k views

Should “dangerous” buttons be big and red or small and inconspicuous?

In a web app, some people think a "Delete" button should be obvious and bright red, signifying danger. The trouble is that this draws the eye to the button and may make accidental clicks more likely. ...
26
votes
7answers
1k views

How to phrase button labels?

How should I phrase the following button labels: "Import image" or "Import an image"? "Create app" or "Create an app"? "Add description" or "Add a description"? If you could also supply the ...
24
votes
10answers
13k views

Alternatives to checkboxes and radio buttons in web-based surveys?

I've been tasked with designing a simple questionnaire design with a lot of different types of questions. I've been taking a lot of web-based surveys myself as well as testing some with users. The ...
22
votes
6answers
2k views

Buttons instead of radio buttons or a dropdown

In a recent project of ours I am tasked with creating an interface that solves the same problem as radio buttons or a dropdown menu would, but using buttons instead. It approximately looks like this: ...
22
votes
11answers
4k views

Why don't mobile apps have a 'close' button?

I'm a fairly new user of Android and i'm annoyed by the fact that almost all apps lack a "close" button. Is there any reason why developers don't make such an option?
22
votes
12answers
1k views

Are 'share this' buttons really effective?

On a lot of websites (especially blogs), we find 'share it' buttons like this --> . Personally, I never used one. If I want to share something online, I copy the link and manually share it through ...
21
votes
6answers
940 views

Three state button for a medical chart

I am working on UI design for a new web based medical charting system. The users are used to charting on paper where they circle a symptom if it is present, cross it out if it is absent, and don't ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

When is red the right color for a button?

After reading this question about Big Bad Red buttons, where it was generally agreed upon that red buttons draw the user to click, I was left thinking: then when are they good affordance and ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Should the order of add / edit / delete buttons be based on the frequency of their use?

In our application we have several places where users see a list of items and can add, edit or delete an item. For some of these lists adding new items is probably the most frequent used ...
20
votes
6answers
833 views

Placement of Previous / Next / Save

Disclaimer: Many questions have been asked on this general topic, so apologies if this is a duplicate, but I think this is distinct from the existing questions. I am designing a five step form. The ...
20
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the optimum button size of touch screen applications?

I read this blog post about the ideal button size of touch screen control sizes. It was based on the study form the MIT touch lab that gives some measures of the size and sensitivity of the finger. He ...
19
votes
9answers
3k views

Documentation - do we “Click”, “Push”, “Press” or “Select” a button on a touch-screen interface

I'm writing some documentation for a web-based application that will run on Android tablets at the factory at which I am employed. I am having trouble wording the steps where the users must interact ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

What should be the difference between enabled and disabled buttons? (especially if they are grey)

What is the best way to show that a button is Enabled or Disabled? (especially if it has grey color) For example what do you feel about the following button? Is it enabled or disabled? How could it ...
19
votes
7answers
1k views

Are grayscale buttons with icons usable and effective?

The image here is old gmail new gmail, when no mail is selected new gmail, when mail is selected new delicious To me, the buttons are unlabeled and tough to discover. I don't believe the ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

Toggle Buttons “Turn On” vs “Enable” [duplicate]

For about a year now, we've used toggle buttons on a couple of segments of our site. We try to be very consistent in our user interfaces, always using the same blue button styles for every clickable ...
19
votes
7answers
1k views

Should all button text start with a verb?

I'm reading The Grammar of Interactivity on UXBooth and finds it quite interesting. However, the article quotes David Hamill who said (or wrote): Buttons are for actions, like “Get a quote,” ...
18
votes
11answers
3k views

Is red an acceptable colour for a submit button on a form for a purchase or booking?

I have been drafted in to provide UX feedback on a recently completed website. One point I made was that red was not a suitable colour for a positive action, i.e. completing a form. The reply cited ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

Is it a bad idea to use grey buttons?

Our design team is thinking of using grey secondary buttons on our site. I'm concerned they may appear to be disabled to our users (especially when used with the primary orange buttons). There is a ...