I know this question may have been asked before in a different way, but what I'm looking for is that with all the differences between links and buttons, what is important in displaying them in the eye of the end-user?
For example, it is said in UX guidelines or articles like this that the cursor shape should not be any different when dealing with buttons but links are the ones that need the hand shape cursor as a signifier to the affordance they have.
The question is what is a link or a button in the eye of the user? Is it important for the user to know whether it is a link they are clicking on or a button? Especially in websites where these options are used interchangeably. Should they be presented differently? If yes, what should be different in the way presenting them? How should a user distinguish between a link and a button? When should the shape of the cursor change, only on links that are shaped like links? on all links and buttons that function like a link (e.g navigation buttons)? Or on anything that is clickable on the web? If it should be changed only on links, what are the signifiers of ghost buttons or flat buttons? And also what are the other signifiers of a link or a button?
The very article suggesting that the hand shape cursor should be used only on links, use it on all its buttons and links itself namely everything clickable on that web page. Where are these boundaries? and is there anything like a universal guide that what should be done?