Buttons are one of the most ubiquitous and essential UI elements. They are used in a wide variety of applications, including websites, mobile apps, desktop software, and even physical devices. Buttons allow users to interact with UIs and perform a variety of actions, such as submitting a form, navigating to another page, or saving a file.
There are many different types of buttons, each with its own specific purpose. Some of the most common types of buttons include:
- Primary buttons: These buttons are used to call the user to action and are typically the most prominent buttons on a page. Primary buttons are often used to submit forms, place orders, or navigate to the next page.
- Secondary buttons: These buttons are used to provide less important actions, such as canceling a form or returning to the previous page. Secondary buttons are often less prominent than primary buttons.
- Tertiary buttons: These buttons are used to provide even less important actions, such as opening a help dialog or viewing more information. Tertiary buttons are typically the least prominent buttons on a page.
- Ghost buttons: These buttons are transparent or semi-transparent and have a more subtle appearance than other types of buttons. Ghost buttons are often used to provide additional actions or to avoid cluttering a UI.
- Toggle buttons: These buttons can be turned on or off and are often used to control settings or features. Toggle buttons are often used to enable or disable features, such as dark mode or notifications.
- Icon buttons: These buttons only contain an icon and no text. Icon buttons are often used in mobile apps and websites where space is limited.
When designing buttons, it is important to keep the following things in mind:
- Clarity: Buttons should be clear and easy to understand. The user should be able to tell what action the button will perform simply by looking at it. This can be achieved by using clear and concise text, as well as appropriate icons.
- Visibility: Buttons should be visible and easy to find. They should not be hidden behind other UI elements. This can be achieved by using a contrasting color scheme and by placing the buttons in a prominent location on the page.
- Hierarchy: Buttons should have a clear hierarchy. Primary buttons should be more prominent than secondary and tertiary buttons. This can be achieved by using different sizes, colors, and fonts for the different types of buttons.
- Feedback: Buttons should provide feedback to the user when they are clicked. This can be done by changing the button’s appearance, playing a sound, or displaying a message. This helps the user to confirm that their click has been registered and that the desired action is being performed.
Best Practices for Using Buttons
Here are some best practices for using buttons in your UIs:
- Use primary buttons sparingly and only for the most important actions.
- Use secondary buttons for less important actions, such as canceling a form or returning to the previous page.
- Use tertiary buttons for even less important actions, such as opening a help dialog or viewing more information.
- Use ghost buttons to provide additional actions or to avoid cluttering your UI.
- Use toggle buttons to control settings or features.
- Use icon buttons in mobile apps and websites where space is limited.
- Avoid using too many buttons on a single page. This can make the UI cluttered and overwhelming for the user.
- Place buttons in logical locations on the page. For example, the submit button on a form should be placed at the end of the form.
- Use consistent button design throughout your UI. This will help users to learn and remember how to use your buttons.
Buttons are an essential part of any UI. By following the tips above, you can design and use buttons effectively to improve the usability and user experience of your products.
Here are some additional tips for using buttons effectively:
- Use microcopy to provide additional information about what the button will do. For example, instead of using a generic “Submit” button, you could use a more specific button label, such as “Submit Form” or “Subscribe Now.”
- Use color to visually differentiate between different types of buttons. For example, you could use a different color for primary buttons than for secondary buttons.
- Use animations to make buttons more visually appealing and engaging. For example, you could animate a button to change size or color when it is hovered over.
- Test your buttons with users to make sure that they are clear, visible, and easy to use.
By following these tips, you can create buttons that are both visually appealing and functional. This will help you to improve the user experience of your products and services.