I have an interface that I am currently working on that asks the user to make a choice of a single item. These items are divided into 3 separate categories and the client has insisted that each category has their own "Continue" button, to help illustrate to them that they are choosing from a particular category.
In the first 2 categories, there are 4 options, with the continue at the bottom. In the third category, there is only one option.
We are trying to determine whether to align the "Continue" button along the bottom with the others (shown below) Option 1
Or if we should let the place the button directly underneath the 1 and only option for the third category (shown below) Option 2
The advantage of Option 1 is visual consistency of the placement of the buttons. The advantage of Option 2 is less distance to travel with the mouse to click next if choosing the option in the last category.
I am leaning toward the first Option, which allows for visual consistency, but there has been some disagreement on whether that or mouse distance is more important.
Another point to consider if choosing the least mouse distance argument is that if the user chooses the first option in either of the first categories, they must travel this distance anyway, so it seems as only a mild inconvenience , if a it is considered an inconvenience at all.
So to reiterate, the question is: Which is more important, less mouse distance to travel or visual consistency?