Buttons are one of the essential and common elements in user interfaces. Buttons help users navigate the user interface and access different features or functions. They clearly show where the user should click and what action will be taken as a result.

Buttons are often used as call-to-action elements in UI design. They encourage users to take specific actions, such as signing up for a service or making a purchase. A well-designed button improves the user experience and makes the user interface more intuitive and user-friendly.

In this article, we will examine the 4 common styles of button design in the user interface and the context of their use.

Buttons in user interface design

In the following, we have mentioned the common buttons in UI design. Also, we have fully explained the tips for using each one correctly, dos and don’ts, design tips, and colors.

1. Solid button

Solid buttons are a type of button in user interface (UI) elements that have a solid background color and text or icon in a contrasting color. As it seems, these buttons attract more attention than other buttons. For this reason, they are used to invite important and main actions on the website page or landing page. Calls to important actions such as (buy) or (register) are abundantly seen with solid buttons.

Solid Button Design Tips for UI Designers:

  • Solid buttons should have a clear contrast with the background and help the user quickly identify the most important action. On the other hand, when there are several buttons on the screen, the Solid button specifies the primary action.
  • If the user interface designer presents two or more choices to the users, he should be careful that any solid button with a brighter color gets clicked more. So, differentiate the desired business action.
  • The solid button may exist in the form of square corners and rounded corners on the site. You need to know that buttons with rounded corners look more beautiful to the user. Because humans naturally avoid objects with sharp edges. Be careful, finally, all the elements must match. So, if all UI elements are square, buttons should not be an exception.
  • The key to creating a good user experience is visual consistency.
  • Shadows can be used to create 3D effects. But remember the previous point, to maintain harmony and beauty, this style must be observed for all elements.

2. Ghost button

Ghost buttons are buttons in user interface design that have a transparent background with a border, text, or icon in a contrasting color. They are often used for secondary on-screen actions such as canceling or resetting.

Hollow button design tips for UI designers:

  • Because a hollow button naturally has less visual weight, it draws less attention than a fixed button, making the UI less cluttered.
  • Hollow buttons are visually versatile, meaning they work well on a variety of backgrounds.
  • Ghost buttons should be used sparingly and only when there is a need to distinguish between primary and secondary actions. Because excessive use of hollow buttons may lead to confusion and lack of clarity in UI design.

3. Icon-only button

Icon-only button, as the name suggests, is a type of button in user interface design that only displays an icon without any text.

Icon-only button design tips for UI designers:

  • Since the button-only icon doesn’t take up too much space, it’s a good option for menus. In the picture below you can see the Google Doc icon-only buttons.
  • Icon-only buttons work well when you need to provide a lot of action. But for some reason, you don’t want to stack them.
  • The meaning of the symbol must be clear to users. Users who do not understand the meaning of the icon will avoid interacting with it. This is why many UI designers believe that the best icon is a text label.
  • If the user interface designer is designing an application for the desktop, he should include tooltips (tooltips) for the buttons only. That is, users should be able to hover over the element and see what the button will do.
  • Icon-only buttons should be used when the function is unambiguous and the icon is universally recognized. However, if there is any doubt about the meaning of the symbol, it should be accompanied by text or a tool manual.
  • Additionally, it is important to ensure that the icon is large enough to be easily seen and recognized, especially on smaller screens.

4. Floating action button

A floating action button (FAB) is a type of button popularized by Google Material Design. This button is usually used as the main function for mobile applications. On the other hand, designers usually place this button in the bottom right corner of the screen. For example, the Twitter application uses a FAB to create a tweet.

Floating action button design tips for UI designers:

  • It is also possible to use the floating action button on the desktop. But since the screen is big enough, it’s not needed.
  • Make sure the meaning of the icon is clear to all user groups. Since the floating action button usually shows an initial call to action, it’s even more important to use clear icons. All users should understand the meaning of the symbol.
  • FAB is only for one action; Because otherwise, it makes the user interface look complicated. Instead, it’s best to stick to a simple approach.
  • FABs should be used only for the most important actions in an application. They should not be used for actions that are less important or can be accessed through other means.

Difference between Floating action button and an Icon-only button

  1. The main difference between a floating action button and an icon-only button is its purpose and placement. FABs define the main functionality of an app or page. On the other hand, they are usually placed in the lower right corner of the screen. But Icon-only buttons are used to display secondary actions or options. So, they can be placed anywhere on the screen.
  2. Floating action buttons are placed in the UI design in such a way that they are easily distinguished from other buttons on the screen. Whereas icon-only buttons may be combined with other user interface elements.
  3. FABs also have a distinctive circular shape and are displayed distinctively. Whereas Icon-only buttons may have different shapes and sizes and usually do not attract attention to the user interface.
  4. Floating action buttons are often used in mobile applications. They are considered a prominent and eye-catching element that draws the user’s attention to the main functionality of the application.

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