I had a discussion with a colleague about whether or not to use split buttons, such as this one from Powerpoint:
- Allows you to group related actions, and helps to keep your UI clean
- Just one click 'slower' than a separate button, but still quickly accessible
- Hides commands from the user
- Requires additional mouse clicks for some actions
While we both clearly understand the (dis)advantages, we cannot agree on whether or not the split button pattern is a good one at all. We figured that our preferences were related to me being used to Microsoft products, and my colleague being more used to Apple products. Microsoft seems to use the pattern frequently, Apple (as far as I know) not at all.
Given this discrepancy, we wondered: are there any usability studies that have validated the pattern?