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I have been experiencing with few admin interfaces until I saw Shopify's admin interface. I noticed that there are two kinds of buttons, in my opinion, there are "call to action" buttons like Add a Product and there are "Form based buttons" like Save Product.

What is the philosophy in terms of UX to keep all of these buttons in the header above all other sections?

Shopify Call To Action buttons

Shopify form buttons

  • Im slightly confused on what you're asking here. Are you asking about hierarchy? Or are you asking if there is a technical term for each of those things? – Majo0od Feb 9 '15 at 18:31
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In my experience there are 3 reasons:

  1. Visibility - user doesn't need to wonder where the buttons are, it's one of the 1st things that they would see, colour helps.
  2. Expected user journey(creating a product/page/whatever is the 1st thing user has to do)
  3. Consistency - if the "Add a Product" button is at the top but "Save Product" button would appear somewhere else, user would have to look for it, usually "Save Product" button would appear at the bottom of the WYSIWYG section as well.

There is another one but I don't think it's a very good one, most of other platforms/websites have the same button placement, which doesn't mean that it's a good way to do it. My favourite is when the button is placed a little closer to the left as I do not have to move my mouse from on side of the screen to another, reducing time needed to do the action, not by much but if I have to add 50 products/articles it would definitely be faster.

Also I would argue that "Save Product" is also "Call to Action" and not Form Based Button", as you do not actually need to enter anything into the form to "Create/Save Product"

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    I second the final paragraph! – Desi Feb 9 '15 at 11:57
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Scrolling is something that is almost synonymous with the way we use applications these days. The huge use of handheld devices (Apple included) have helped to ensure that.

There was the age old argument of putting things above the fold but in all honesty I do not really believe that this is a sticking point anymore primarily because of the aforementioned and the statistical eveidence out there to support that.

To answer your question, I don't like to base UX decisions around "philosophy". It's based on evidence. So many UX designers go through the throws of research, people interaction and so on to eventually arrive at an educated answer.

Now no one app is the same. All web apps have different audiences, needs, user inteligence levels, user goals and user frustrations. So in Shopify's case, they did it likely for a substantiated reason. If the right hand pane generally scrolls a lot, then this may have been a reason.

Whilst it's fine for people to scroll, why make it any harder to get the user to "do something" may have been their reasoning.

Which brings us to your reference around "call to action buttons".

What you are referring to as call to action and form based buttons has no defrentiation Amir. They are all call to action buttons. The purpose of any button is to get the user to "do something". A link below with a fuller explanation is listed.

Good luck with your further research.

Sources worth reading:

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