What is your experience about using tabs/buttons that are fixed to the left or right on the browser window? (see an example to the right on this site) They are usually used for feedback forms or social media buttons.

My suspicion is that people do not look so far to the sides. When experimenting with the placement of ads and social media buttons it's better to position them as close to the content (such as an article) as possible.

Do you believe that placing links at those positions is effective?

  • 1
    "Hey boss, good news! There have been zero, I repeat ZERO, complaints submitted via that nifty new feedback form attached to the side of the site" ;-)
    – Erics
    Dec 13, 2011 at 9:05
  • Haha, thats one good point. Dec 13, 2011 at 9:30
  • @TonyBolero Could you possibly rephrase your question so that it leads to a conclusion? I'm interested in the topic but don't know where you're going with it. Perhaps "Do you believe these are beneficial?" or "What is the best practice for using tabs on the sides?"
    – Taj Moore
    Dec 13, 2011 at 23:02
  • @tajmo Thanks for your opinion. How about now? Dec 14, 2011 at 8:22
  • @TonyBolero Yeah I think that's better, thank you!
    – Taj Moore
    Dec 14, 2011 at 22:09

4 Answers 4


This techinque of positioning a fixed label on the side of the viewport is both used by GetSatisfacion and UserVoice, probably the most used online feedback management services out there, making it a de facto standard. So we could deduce a user prone to give feedback will expect to find it there.

Come to think about it, it is a usable solution:

  • the label is normally pretty apparent, using live colors and big fonts
  • since it is fixed, it is always accessible
  • by positioning it in the center, rather than a corner, it is always at-hand when a user finds something that wants to report (normally the user sets de content that she's paying attention to in the center of the viewport).

Another oft-used section to place a feedback link is in the right hand corner of the footer, where you would expect to find the "Contact" link.

Lastly, if you wish to receive feedback from a particular section or page, make it appear as a tool tip, inline or pop-up when you expect the user has finished the task.


I would probably try out an "apple style" icon notification where the icon jumps up and then bounces a couple of times.

You can do the same thing with your feedback button there. But be careful not to do it too early, let the user see your website first then draw the attention to the box. I would probably give it anywhere between 20-45 seconds.

If the user leaves sooner than that you can try to ask for feedback on the NavigateAway event, but that may be too intrusive for some.

I would probably create a bucket for the users that leave sooner that those 20 seconds and treat them as one "time-never returning" type.


I have quite good experience with tab on the right. My bet it depends on typical resting position of cursor while page is loading (right upper corner).

If you have any doubts, you may want to try little tricks with attention. Human attention mechanism is very sensitive to: - contrast - motion (try little shaking on load)


The answer is, yes I do believe that fixing hyperlinked tabs/buttons at the sides of the browser windows (including mobile browsers) is effective. Of course it should be for general feedback of any damn thing related to the website.

My second part of the answer: The problem generally is to decide where exactly to place it on sides. Web users spend 69% of their time viewing the left half of the page and 30% viewing the right half. I suggest to put it on the left side, a little upper than in the middle. The reason for "a little upper than in the middle" is that it is going to be comfortable/handy for mobile browser users.

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