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I am having a navbar with a search functionality that has two buttons "Search" and "Advanced". My primary color is blue #2a7ab0 I use that for buttons and some text. Text color on the blue button is white #fff. For risky actions, either a text or a button I am using red #e00000. My question is whether I should use orange #d43900 as a secondary button for "advanced". Will there be any confusion between it and the red for risky actions? I am putting in mind color blind people. I tried green, but it was either too dark and ugly or too light for the white text. I'd consider other colors other than purples and pinks.

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I'd keep your primary action as is, but make your secondary action a link using the same colour as the primary button.

This way your secondary action...

  • is less prominant and not so 'in your face', letting users concentrate on primary actions
  • uses existing colour scheme rather than adding a new colour for no good reason
  • differentiates the type of action i.e. 'perform the search' , 'take me to advanced use'

See also - Luke Wroblewski's research into Primary & Secondary Actions in Web Forms.

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  • While the "advanced" button is not the primary, it is something I want to highlight. For now I decided to go with dark grey. #444 as I cannot have it as an underlined text with no background. Thank you – Bilal Khoukhi Dec 11 '16 at 18:22
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    You'll have to be careful with gray buttons because they might look disabled. – slugolicious Dec 11 '16 at 20:56
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    @slugolicious, while you're correct, #444 is not a shade that most people will take for disabled. Other than that, I think Roger's answer is spot on. Maybe not for this particular case (we don't know WHY can't this be an underlined link), but probably correct in most other cases – Devin Dec 12 '16 at 4:57
  • @devin, yes i like roger's suggestion too but i think we need to be careful at what we think people might take as a disabled button. any gray shade that is different from the other buttons might be confusing. using bixal's original blue background (#2a7ab0) for several buttons and one button with #444 makes the button look disabled. see s6.postimg.org/4oj6hr5n5/buttons.jpg – slugolicious Dec 12 '16 at 17:03
  • well, here's where testing with real users comes handy. To me, that button looks like "pressed" :D – Devin Dec 12 '16 at 17:04
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Accessibility-wise orange and red are to close to distinguish. You can differentiate them by lightness contrast.

It would be better to use a clear search-field including label, hint-text within the input-field and helper text underneath.

Default icons helps users to quickly recognize the functionality. The advanced settings button is now placed next to the main search field, making it a more in-depth option.

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  • Thanks for your answer Rien! I agree with the icons idea, however, I don't think we should have the search button inside the field and a highlighted advanced button outside, many user will make the mistake of clicking the advanced button after entering a keyword. This is my opinion and not based on any research. – Bilal Khoukhi Dec 14 '16 at 19:01
  • Bixal, you are right. I added a second example, where the buttons have the same format: icon and text. – Rien Daamen Dec 15 '16 at 9:17
  • The primary (green) button is now more linked to the search input-field, while the secondary (grey) button will have it's own action. – Rien Daamen Dec 15 '16 at 9:22

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