April 19, 2010

Action buttons: Why you should stick to the familiar

A rose by any other name smells just as sweet, huh? No Shakespeare. Not always in the online world. It only leads to rolling eyes, arched eyebrows and perhaps a dip in visits.

How often do we come across requests for mandatory tabs and buttons to be worded differently? Often you'd say. And so the request, for instance, would be for the 'Apply Now' button to be worded differently but say the same thing! The list doesn't stop there. In such times, what if you could gently put out a reminder that the buttons on TV remotes for example are labeled just the way they were labeled when TVs first came with remotes?

Play has always been 'Play', not 'Frolic'. Have you seen a TV / DVD remote with a Frolic button? Or a 'Catnap' button instead of a 'Pause' button? A 'Stimulate' button instead of a 'Power' button?

Know why? Because it’s used by mothers and grandmothers. Little children even. Now, even a little child understands 'Play' and 'Power' and even 'Pause'. And when he has finally broken his remote and his momma has gotten him a new one he looks for the 'Power' button not the 'Stimulate' button on his new remote.

So is the case online, except in deserving instances, especially in the case of themed, niche-audience websites where the construct of the website itself demands it.

Otherwise, it's best to remain plain vanilla and concentrate on the over all user experience. It’s experiences and a certain amount of familiarity with the nuts and bolts that get you repeat visits. The biggest example is Google. They're rumoured to be contemplating changes to their home page. But what's the bet that the Google Search button will remain the Google Search button? That the I'm Feeling Lucky button will remain just the same? Because Google knows that familiarity is part of the Google experience. If it's variety they want, the Google logo does the entertaining with seasonal and situational themes.

Listen to the post here:


Anonymous said...


Kavitha said...

Nice post..!

Srinivas said...

Its beautiful and clear

Rage Communications said...

@ Kavitha. Thank you.
@ Srinivas. Thank you.