Day#170: Designing buttons with UX in mind

Day#170: Designing buttons with UX in mind

Aaah the topic of buttons, I remember thinking that it was just a simple area for clicking and thinking more about color palettes and the ghastly task of typography etc back in my design days. Now buttons mean a completely different thing to me, buttons can influence your user journey for the positive or negative and dependent on placement a lot of a/B testing show results of changes in user decisions. I could literally go on for days talking about all the studies conducted that prove the premise of the buttons we use today and how we design them using best practices methods but let me not bore you to death. If I can bring up some crucial points though let it be the below topics that I think affect button design holistically


Fitts law

Fitts law basically describes how the distance to a target as well as the size of the overall target assists in the ability to use the target. Picture a row of levers all the same color and the same size, one of those levers will do something detrimental dangerous like play mind numbing Rom Coms on every tv you ever look at for the rest of your life and one of the levers releases 12 adorable puppies into the room. Which one releases the puppies? With all the buttons looking the same it would be difficult for you to make your decision and nobody wants to be stuck watching rom coms for the rest of their life.. The solution here is to obviously change the way buttons look, Fits law basically indicates that the size of button and where it is placed will help differentiate its importance etc, so for example the dangerous button would be smaller and more out of reach to press, this would reduce the amount of mistakes from pressing it. Having the safer button which is used more often and does not hold as harsh repercussions would be fine to have this button larger and more easier to find in the grand scheme of things


Hicks law

Hicks law is a personal favorite of mine, mainly because I actually feel this a lot when I have lots of options at restaurants. Hick Law basically means the more options there are the more difficult a person will find it to make a decision, this refers to buttons because you do not want to have rows of buttons for users to scroll through. We have drop downs, radio buttons and forms to help with that! Before I round off on the topic of hicks Law I wanted to refer to Jam study where people were tested on having 6 types of jams verses 24 types of jams. The interesting part was that having more options did not result in more purchases in comparison


See the article on this here

This seems in theory completely different to what we think we know about ourselves, thinking that more choice would result in us being happier however when the amount of choices are too high it overwhelms our brains and we are left confused and possibly not taking action, this is obviously not what you want at all when you are creating Call to Action buttons on your significant website or App. Again I can’t seem to find any good videos on this topic to share with you guys, hmm coincidence or a sign from Gods of UX? I think the latter! Anyway think carefully about your buttons, oh and don’t worry too much about always having to color coordinate buttons. I recently came across a designer on a project I am assisting with where the designer color coordinated every button with this category system, the thing is often users don’t even understand or pick up on these nuances and it may cause more confusion to have so many different colors. This too shall be discovered with testing though, happy researching until next time Uxers

Bye for now

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