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.

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629
votes
16answers
101k 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 ...
401
votes
24answers
31k 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 ...
274
votes
13answers
54k 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 ...
230
votes
18answers
27k 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 ...
198
votes
24answers
38k 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?
122
votes
14answers
10k 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 ...
100
votes
20answers
15k 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 ...
90
votes
8answers
9k 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 ...
81
votes
9answers
9k 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 ...
71
votes
12answers
7k views

Should form 'Continue' button be disabled if validation is incomplete?

In forms we often see the 'continue' button inactive until all the required fields are complete: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups Is this actually a help ...
69
votes
10answers
10k 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 ...
66
votes
10answers
7k 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?
66
votes
16answers
9k 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.
56
votes
9answers
14k 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 ...
55
votes
12answers
16k 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 ...
55
votes
11answers
5k 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 ?
54
votes
10answers
11k 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 ...
50
votes
11answers
5k 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?
47
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 ...
46
votes
9answers
7k 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 ...
44
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" ...
42
votes
6answers
54k 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, ...
42
votes
2answers
2k views

Why don't ATMs show blank arrows for unused buttons? [closed]

Have you ever had trouble lining the arrows up with the correct button on ATM consoles and other similar interfaces? Height of user can affect perceived alignment, as well as poor installation or ...
41
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 ...
41
votes
11answers
8k 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 ...
38
votes
12answers
8k views

What are the differences between buttons and links?

What are the differences between buttons and links?
38
votes
3answers
11k 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? ...
37
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
36
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 ...
36
votes
5answers
3k 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?
36
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
34
votes
14answers
7k 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 ...
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. ...
33
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
32
votes
10answers
5k views

Should I avoid using “abort” in favor of its synonyms?

I've heard that the term "abort" could have a negative meaning in some contexts (i.e. due to abortion-related issues), and for that reason it was avoided in some interfaces of the 80's/90's, probably ...
32
votes
10answers
18k 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 ...
32
votes
6answers
16k views

What is the optimum button size of touch screen applications?

There was a not so recent blog post about the ideal button size of touch screen control sizes (sorry there is no link, the website is now a spam trap) that was based on the study form the MIT touch ...
30
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. ...
29
votes
5answers
12k views

Do material design's floating action buttons provide a bad UX?

Google's material design largely focuses on clean visuals and a good user experience, but there is one feature that I have questioned: floating action buttons. This is a large button that appears in ...
27
votes
12answers
6k 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?
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 ...
25
votes
8answers
4k views

Should the cross (or 'X' ) button do something other than close (e.g. minimize or hide)?

It's common for the user to use the cross button to exit an application. But sometimes software is tricky and the cross minimizes the window instead of closing it. Should this kind of behavior be ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

What value does :focus CSS state add for buttons?

We all know that :hover is required if you want to create sophisticated user experience. It allows users to recognize a click option on an element. I wonder what value does :focus add for buttons? ...
24
votes
9answers
9k 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 ...
23
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
23
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: ...
23
votes
2answers
1k views

Auto-creating new Items vs. “Add New” button

I'm iterating on a mortgage CRM system, which involves the broker providing previous incomes of the future home owner. Currently, the system "invisibly" provides a mechanism for creating new ...
23
votes
6answers
1k views

Placement of buttons for Previous, Next, and Save Draft actions

I am designing a five step form. The user can exit the form and return to it later. So I have a Previous, Next, and Save Draft action. What is the ideal placement of the buttons/elements? I want ...
22
votes
10answers
5k views

Best way to communicate “tap anywhere to continue”

I have an iOS game which shows a screen every time you win or lose a game. On that screen, the user can tap anywhere to return to the gameplay screen. However, this does not seem immediately ...
22
votes
12answers
2k 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 ...