To click or not to click is the question that comes to mind when a user sees a call to action button.
The more buttons there are, the longer it takes to make a decision. The user must examine each button to determine which one best suits their purpose. Any uncertainty or doubt can lead to the fact that he will not take any action or take the wrong action.
You can avoid this by making the priority of each action intuitive. When users see which button is important to their task, they can instantly take action. There are several UX techniques that can dramatically change the intuitiveness of call-to-action buttons.
Arrange the buttons according to the scanning pattern
One of the common mistakes made in applications is placing buttons in a different order from the natural scanning pattern. The button with the highest priority is placed first because they want users to notice it first. But users will notice a button regardless of order if it carries visual weight.
Button order is not intended to improve visibility, but to improve efficiency. By placing high priority buttons first, you break the user’s natural pattern because it reverses the scan direction from top to bottom.
Instead of forcing users to rescan buttons, allow them to jump to a high-priority action by viewing the page in one direction. This will allow users to review the button options in order before they make a decision.
Placing a high-priority action button at the bottom of the page will put it in the path of least visual resistance, making it quick and easy to click. In addition, the bottom of the screen is easiest to reach with your finger, which further enhances the effectiveness of your call to action.
Distinguish between buttons and text with a shape
Another mistake is to use only text for the button. Designers use text buttons to indicate lower priority actions. But this is a bad choice for a call to action, because the text doesn’t look like a button. This can cause users to ignore these actions.
Text buttons also cause confusion, leaving users wondering if the text is a button or information. This ambiguity can cause them to miss these buttons.
Not only are text buttons misleading, but they are also smaller tap targets. Placing a text label inside the button form makes the call to action more visible and easier for the user to click.
Button shapes are the best way to emphasize low priority actions. They make it easy to recognize all the options so that users can reach the goal in the way they want.
Highlight progressive actions with color
A high priority action is easiest to define – it is an action that leads directly to the user’s goal. If you are unsure about the remaining steps, consider which ones are moving users towards their goal and which ones are not.
In this example, “checkout” has a high priority as it guides users to their destination. But it is not clear which middle priority action is “view cart” or “keep shopping”.
The Go to Cart action allows users to view items that have already been added to the cart, leading to checkout. The “Continue shopping” action takes users back to the product pages, thereby moving them away from the checkout point.
After reviewing the steps, it becomes clear that Go to Cart is Medium Priority and Continue Shopping is Low Priority. It’s easy to see which action moves users towards their goal and which moves them away from it.
Progressive actions always take precedence over regressive ones. Therefore, they deserve more visual weight and higher color contrast.
Color is an effective way to indicate progressive actions because it differs from the color of the text and grabs the attention of users. However, the visual signal is not as strong when the color of the button matches the color of the text. A separate color for progressive actions means users must take them.
If you use the same color for all progressive actions, users won’t know which one has higher priority. And different colors for each of them will only confuse users and make them wonder what the different colors mean. Not only that, it will also give all the buttons the same visual weight.
The trick is to use one color, but change its saturation and brightness for the medium priority action so that it looks lighter than the high priority action. Now the weight of the buttons no longer competes, and there is a clear “winner”.
To enhance contrast, you can reverse the polarity of the display. Use light text on a dark background for the primary button and dark on a light background for the secondary button. This gives the high priority action a brighter text label and the highest contrast possible.
Vary the bold style of text labels
The above methods are enough to prioritize actions, but you can do more. The more intuitive you make each button, the less users will have to think.
The same visual weight of text labels gives them the same emphasis. It is best to highlight each text label differently based on priority. Change the boldness of the text labels so that the high priority buttons are bold and the low priority buttons are the least bold. Thus, when users read the tags, their weight will indicate priority.
This example shows how the Checkout label has become brighter and bolder than the rest. The Go to Cart label is bold and the Continue Shopping label is medium. As a result, the text labels reflect the visual weight of each action. The text indicating the number of items added to the cart on the Go to Cart label is not in bold as this is additional information and does not reflect the action taken.
Add an icon to a high priority action
The final method is the icing on the cake, making your buttons color-blind. Color blind users will not be able to tell the difference between button weights. They need more visual cue than just color.
Adding an icon to a high-priority action will make it stand out more. When users view a page, they focus more on the visuals than on the text. The icon ensures that all users pay more attention to high priority actions.
If you remove the color and label, users can still recognize the checkout button. The icon displays the checkout in the same way as the text.
Are your buttons intuitive?
Your buttons are not intuitive if users spend a lot of time on the action screen or if you have a low CRT. If this is the case, use these techniques to improve the UX of your call-to-action buttons. You will see a big difference after these improvements.