Is it good or bad practice to repeat a split button's primary action? I've searched and didn't find anything definitive. I see it done both ways.

1 Answer 1


The rule is:

Nielsen/Norman group

  • A split button has a default action. Clicking "Insert" above performs a general "insert", but clicking on the split part opens a menu of related actions. The Zoom menu below is on a split button - clicking Stop Video performs the default action, and the split menu has several video-related actions.

Zoom call - video split button menu

  • A non-split button just opens the menu. It doesn't perform an action when you click on it. That's why you might see the label twice.

When should you use a split button? From the Nielsen-Norman article linked above:

Split buttons are for presenting several related tools if one option is used most frequently. Making the most commonly accessed option a default lowers the interaction cost to use that option since it removes the need to open the menu before selecting the item.

  • For me it's still unclear whether you should or should not repeat the primary action. The split button on the 1st screenshot (right picture) kind of repeats it, but not with literally the same wording, so is it considered a proper repeat? In the Zoom example, you mention "related actions" but that does not tell us if the relative action is part of these or not. In the screenshot, we can't see "Stop video" repeated (although it might be achieved by unchecking the selected camera). May 26 at 13:05

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