Buttons at Your Website

When you’re thinking about a new website or a new design, even a new page, the buttons at your website may be the last thing you think about.

But they may affect your conversions: how and whether people take action on your calls to action. 

Design

Back in the mists of internet time, buttons were usually graphics — a picture of a button. You can still use an image if you want to, but nowadays it’s more common to use code to create a button shape. It’s also faster, and usually works better on more devices. This should be your first choice. 

Right now, ghost buttons are popular, but any button design can work as long as users can tell it’s a button. Shape, color, and changes when people touch the button with their cursor (AKA hover state) can all clue your visitors in.

More important than the shape of your button is how many buttons you have on the page. The screenshot below shows a page with half a dozen different buttons using different designs to invite visitors to do different things. There’s just too much going on.

Pick the most important calls to action for your page and group them in a logical way. If there are alternatives, they should have a uniform look. 

Message

Back in those mists of time we were discussing before, buttons usually said “Submit.” It usually meant the user had filled out a form and wanted to submit it. 

Now, button labels are extremely specialized. You can choose anything from, “Yes, please” to “Request appointment.” Or provide your visitors with a choice, like “Yes, I care about my health. Subscribe men!” vs. “No, thank you, I don’t care about my health at all. Don’t subscribe me.”

Think your way through the entire process from the user’s point of view. Consider these points:

  • Every action should be from the user’s point of view. “Message my doctor,” not “Message your doctor.”
  • Think literally. Don’t use “Book an appointment” and link it to a page that asks visitors to fill out a form and wait for a call. That’s not booking an appointment. “Request an appointment” will work better. 
  •  Consider the commitment you’re asking for. “Sign up as a patient” is a much bigger commitment than “Download a free guide to Functional Medicine.” While you’re at it, make sure that any requirements you include are at the appropriate level for that commitment. Checking “I have read the terms of service” might be appropriate for making an appointment, but it’s probably too much for downloading an e-book.

Your web team should be able to help you with decisions about buttons, but these tips should help you think it through before you commit yourself. 

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