On the web, is there a recommended location for the submit (Go, Search, Submit, etc) button in relation to the cancel, reset or back button? I'm thinking the recommended positions makes it easiest for the user to find and maybe even the most common position.

I'm coming from a general perspective for everything from a simple contact form, to a multi-page registration form, to large internal database forms. I'm kind of wondering if there is one that has been researched to be better for the user.

I personally like putting on the far right with the cancel on the left. To me this makes the most sense as it's on the right, therefore moving forward or going to the next step. It also makes sense to me because it'd be the last thing someone would see when their eye is moving from top left to bottom right. But these are my only guesses with no research.

  • 2
    My preference is similar to yours. If clicking the button is typically the last thing you'll do before leaving a page, I figure it should go at the "end." Commented Aug 9, 2010 at 20:36
  • There should be no cancel button. More people will click it accidentally than on purpose (eg. by pressing <Tab> then <Enter> when on the last input). :)
    – deizel.
    Commented Aug 16, 2010 at 21:19
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    related: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/37/… Commented Jun 14, 2012 at 20:10
  • I would think that the answer is different for the different scenarios you gave as examples. For the simple contact form, looks like Luke W's article suggests left aligned is best, however, I would argue that the standard for multi-step/wizard forms is different, and that the 'next' step being right aligned makes much more sense, and is generally the standard - as per all those flight booking webpage/steps on most travel websites - because you're effectively going from left to right in them.
    – Matty J
    Commented Jul 6, 2015 at 10:28

4 Answers 4


Luke Wroblewski wrote about this issue in detail in his book Web Form Design. I really recommend reading his in-depth article:


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    Great article. I wonder if the user's OS has an influence on this too, since OS X puts the "Submit" button on the right and cancel way far on the left as opposed to Windows for example.
    – Ignacio
    Commented Aug 9, 2010 at 20:20

Jakob Nielsen says to do what your users expect.

If you're designing a Web-based application, the decision is harder, but you should probably go with the platform preferred by most of your users. Your server logs will show you the percentage of Windows vs. Mac users for your specific website or intranet. Of course, Windows generally has many more users, so if you can't be bothered to check the logs, then the guideline that will apply to most situations is: OK first, Cancel last.

I found this article through a similar question on Stack Overflow: OK-Cancel or Cancel-OK?.


Most users read a page from left to right, so I would imagine that putting the Save/Submit button on the left. What's more important though, is to make the action button more obvious than the cancel button, for example making the Save button a button and the Cancel button a link.

  • yes, this is the rule i always follow. Also, make the submit button highlighted, so when a user strokes "Enter" it performs the action.
    – David
    Commented Aug 9, 2010 at 20:10

If user is filling form with tabbing where save is on the right most then it would be hard for him to press 2 tabs or more to reach to save button.

What i do: I generally give different visual cue (colors) to buttons and put desired action on the left not the right(i know lots of people would be disagree with me). You can note that below "Post your Answer" is on the left not the right:)

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