Many desktop applications provide extra close buttons, usually in the bottom right corner of windows or panels. I understand showing extra cancel and stop buttons, but not close.

In many cases, there is an 'X' button in the title bar, which is for closing an application.

Are users really prone to missing that, especially when this pattern has been in existence for years?

1 Answer 1


Hard to say without running a test or analyzing a click map. The answer will probably depend on context and application. It is true that patterns that have existed for years are familiar to users and therefore we can expect them to use them without any issues.

However, it is also true that we should provide the most fluid experience and remove barriers whenever possible. So if removing an extra "close" button results in a chunk of users having to interrupt their thought process / taskflow to look for the 'X' button because they couldn't find it the first time where they would expect it to be, than that's adding friction and interrupting their workflow.

  • I don't really understand your second point. The 'X' button is always in the same standardized location, there really should not be any "looking" for it. I imagine most of the looking would take place in finding the extra close button since it could be in a variable location. Is there a standard location for secondary close buttons that would lead users to develop a consistent expectation of where to find the button or would that be developed on an 'app to app' basis?
    – FrontDeer
    Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 14:42
  • A "standard" is good because it creates consistency, familiarity and eventually reflex behavior that requires no thinking. My point was that if there is an extra close or back button within an application that have existed for a while, and many other applications follow the same approach, then you would expect users to have adopted it as a way to close the application.
    – Nicolas
    Commented Oct 2, 2022 at 2:41
  • Removing it would result in those users looking for it and pause to realize the button is not there anymore. Only to then reorient and use the global close button. That pause and reorientation is an interruption to whatever task or train of thinking they were having at the moment.
    – Nicolas
    Commented Oct 2, 2022 at 2:41
  • Regarding standard secondary close buttons - Look for where those buttons are in other applications your target users are using for that specific platform (e.g. Windows). The more a button appears in the same location across applications, the more familiar to the user it is, and the more likely they will look for it in that location. Think about where you would look for a "Search" field in ecommerce apps, or "back" buttons in most Android or iOS apps. Your best guess would be to look for them in places were you have found them in apps in your past experience.
    – Nicolas
    Commented Oct 2, 2022 at 2:47

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