Re: When to use the word "button" -- ?

Subject: Re: When to use the word "button" -- ?
From: Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2012 10:22:46 -0700

It depends. Do you have page links or menu links that may distract users who would not look at buttons? Is there a possibility that a user can do something wrong and the view with a button will not be available?

I like to account for the worst possibility and then balance the likelihood of that possibility against brevity of instructions. If there is little or no likelihood that there would be anything other than a button, then do not mention button.

A well-designed UI will not give the same name to more than one type of element. For example, in my Thunderbird email window, I have a button, "Send," and also a menu link, "File > Send Now," that also shows me a shortcut key of "Ctrl+Return." Since there is only one element called, "Send," I will not need the qualifier of "button" for me to understand what to click if I read the instructions.

Older UIs, UIs that have become a hodge podge over various versions, and poorly designed UIs often have issues that require clarity of what type of element to look for when clicking. The instructions need to account for both UI design and user savvy. So, whether to include "button," it depends.

On 10/24/2012 8:13 AM, Craig Cardimon wrote:

I am staring at Apply, Continue, Cancel, and Save buttons, wondering if I should say:

"Click the Continue button to proceed."

Or just:

"Click Continue to proceed."


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When to use the word "button" -- ?: From: Craig Cardimon

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