I'm going to offer a text based dropdown chooser for users to select a button type/style to use in a UI builder app.

  • There will be no preview of what the button type looks like.

  • The names should be platform independent.

  • Users are not expert (e.g. not developers or designers).

What names should I use if the options I'm offering are like below?

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So far I've thought of:

  • A = Solid
  • B = Reversed
  • C = Text
  • D = Circular
  • E = Tile
  • Those look like good labels - why can't you preview them though?
    – Midas
    Apr 14, 2016 at 9:06
  • having no preview is a technical limitation. I can just have a list of names for now.
    – Dave Haigh
    Apr 14, 2016 at 9:33
  • 1
    Maybe for B you could also try to use Outline
    – artsheeps
    Apr 14, 2016 at 9:57

2 Answers 2


There is always trouble when you start to let users design their own interface - whether they are experts or not.

I'm guessing you already have a style in place for the UI that users are building (or a range of styles). If this is the case then you probably already have an idea of what primary (a "Save" button for instance), secondary (a "Cancel" button for example), and disabled buttons should look like. With that in mind You could use the following:

  • A = Primary Action Button
  • B = Secondary Action Button
  • C/E Text Link (sensitive to the background colour it is used on)
  • D = Icon Button (sensitive to function for icon selection)

In my experience it's always best to give the illusion of free choice rather than letting users turn your site into a geocities page.

  • I like the suggestion of primary and secondary. to clarify E is a tile like button, not a white text link (C) on top of a blue bg
    – Dave Haigh
    Apr 15, 2016 at 10:30

I'd naturally describe A & B as "filled text button, with border" and "unfilled text button, with border", which would make C "unfilled text button, no border".

If your application happens to be targeted at Android UI designers, Android has a very specific term for D: a "floating action button". Otherwise, "Circular" or "Circular iconic button" seems fine.

I don't really recall seeing a button like E before, but something like "filled, multi-line text button" would be consistent with the descriptions above.

  • E is like a tile on Windows 8/10.
    – Midas
    Apr 14, 2016 at 16:10
  • Ah yes, I suppose it is. I never really think of those as 'buttons'.
    – calum_b
    Apr 15, 2016 at 12:34

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