UI Design

Master the Art of Button Design: Essential Tips for Creating Engaging User Interfaces

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Credit to Anna Yashina

Designing effective buttons is crucial for creating a seamless and user-friendly interface. Buttons are gateways for users to interact with digital products, making them essential elements in guiding user actions. However, designing buttons that truly stand out and encourage engagement requires careful consideration of various factors. In this article, we will explore a set of tips and best practices to design better buttons. By following these guidelines, you can create buttons that not only catch the user's attention but also enhance usability, leading to improved user experiences.

Clear and Concise Labelling:

Ensure the text on your buttons is clear and concise, conveying the intended action or purpose. Use actionable words that align with user expectations, such as "Submit," "Download," or "Learn More." Avoid ambiguity or generic labels that might confuse users.

Example: Instead of using a button label like "Click Here," it's better to use a more specific and action-oriented label like "Start Free Trial" or "Add to Cart." This clearly conveys the purpose of the button to the user.

Size and Proportions:

Buttons should have an appropriate size that makes them easily clickable, and they should stand out on the page but not overpower other elements. Consider the device and context in which the buttons will appear to determine the optimal size and proportions.

Example: On a mobile device, buttons should be large enough to be easily tapped with a finger but not too large to overpower other elements on the screen. A well-sized button could be around 48 pixels high and 150 pixels wide.

Colour and Contrast:

Choose a colour palette that aligns with your overall design and brand, but ensure the button colour stands out from the background. Utilise contrasting colours to draw attention to the button and make it visually appealing. Consider using colour psychology principles to evoke specific emotions or actions.

Example: If your website or app has a light background, you can use a vibrant and contrasting colour for buttons to make them stand out. For instance, a green button on a dark background will attract attention and encourage clicks.

Visual Hierarchy:

Buttons should be visually distinguishable and reflect their importance within the user interface. Utilize visual hierarchy techniques like size, colour, and placement to emphasise primary actions while making secondary actions less prominent.

Example: Primary actions, such as "Submit" or "Sign Up," should have a prominent visual treatment. They can be larger in size, have a bold colour, or be placed in a prominent position. Secondary actions like "Cancel" or "Skip" can be visually de-emphasised with a lighter colour or smaller size.


Maintain consistency in button design across your interface. Ensure that buttons share elements like shape, colour, and typography. This consistency helps users quickly identify and recognise buttons, reducing cognitive load.

Example: If your interface uses rounded buttons with a specific colour scheme, ensure that all buttons across the interface follow this consistent style. This helps users develop a mental model of what buttons look like and how they function within your design.

Adequate Spacing:

Provide enough whitespace around buttons to prevent overcrowding and improve usability. Ample spacing helps users accurately target buttons on both desktop and mobile devices, reducing the chances of accidental clicks.

Example: Place enough whitespace around buttons to prevent them from feeling cramped. For instance, on a web form, leave ample space between the "Submit" button and other form fields to avoid accidental clicks and improve usability.


Design buttons that adapt to different screen sizes and devices. Ensure they remain accessible and easy to interact with on various platforms, including mobile, tablets, and desktops.

Example: Design buttons that adapt to different devices. On mobile devices, consider using a responsive design where buttons stack vertically to accommodate smaller screens, making them easy to tap with thumbs.

Use of Icons:

Consider incorporating relevant icons alongside button labels to enhance usability and communicate functionality. Icons can provide visual cues and help users quickly understand the button's purpose.

Example: If you have a shopping app, you can use a shopping cart icon alongside the "Add to Cart" button to reinforce the action visually. This helps users quickly identify the button's purpose even before reading the label.

Feedback and Interaction:

Provide visual feedback when buttons are clicked or tapped. Consider using subtle animations, colour changes, or haptic feedback to acknowledge user interactions and create a responsive experience.

Example: When a user clicks a button, provide visual feedback like a subtle colour change or animation to indicate that the button press has been registered. This provides reassurance to the user that their action has been acknowledged.

User Testing and Iteration:

Finally, test your button design with real users to gather feedback and identify areas for improvement. Iterate and refine your strategy based on user insights to ensure optimal usability and effectiveness.

Example: Conduct user testing sessions where participants interact with your interface and observe how they respond to the button design. Gather feedback on their experience and iterate on your button design based on their insights to improve usability and effectiveness.

Button Placement:

The placement of buttons within a user interface plays a vital role in driving user engagement and achieving desired actions. Thoughtful button placement can guide users intuitively, reduce friction, and increase conversion rates.

Visual Flow: Strategic button placement should align with the natural visual flow of users. Consider placing primary action buttons where users naturally focus their attention, such as at the end of a form or in the centre of a page. This ensures that users can easily locate and interact with buttons without unnecessary searching.

Thumb Zone: On mobile devices, consider placing buttons within the thumb-friendly zone for one-handed usability. Typically, this zone is within the lower portion of the screen, making it convenient for users to tap buttons without adjusting their grip or using their second hand.

Negative Space: Utilise negative space around buttons to make them more prominent and distinguishable. Providing enough space between buttons and surrounding elements helps users accurately target and interact with the intended button, reducing accidental clicks.

Contextual Placement: Consider the context and user intent when determining button placement. For example, placing a "Buy Now" button in close proximity to product details or a "Next" button near a form field helps users seamlessly progress through their intended tasks.

Consistency: Maintain consistency in button placement across different screens or sections of your interface. Users develop mental models and expectations about where to find buttons based on their prior experiences. Consistent button placement improves user familiarity and reduces cognitive load.

Mobile Responsiveness: Adapt button placement for different screen sizes and orientations. For responsive designs, ensure that buttons remain accessible and conveniently placed regardless of the device being used. This accommodates users on various platforms and enhances their overall experience.

Proper button placement can significantly impact user engagement, conversion rates, and overall usability. By strategically positioning buttons within the user interface, you can guide users effortlessly, minimise friction, and encourage them to take desired actions. Consider the visual flow, thumb-friendly zones, negative space, contextual relevance, consistency, and mobile responsiveness to optimize button placement and create a user-friendly interface.

Designing buttons may seem like a simple task, but it holds significant importance in the overall user experience. By implementing the tips and best practices outlined in this article, you can elevate your button design and create a more engaging interface. Clear labelling, appropriate sizing, colour contrast, visual hierarchy, consistency, spacing, responsiveness, icon usage, feedback mechanisms, and user testing all play crucial roles in designing effective buttons. Remember, designing better buttons is an iterative process that involves continuous improvement based on user feedback and evolving design trends. By focusing on these key principles, you can design buttons that capture attention, guide users effortlessly, and ultimately enhance the usability and success of your digital products.