Web Buttons, Part II

April 15, 2006
By Robbin Steif

Verizon made it very hard for me to set up an automatic payment plan using their online tools, because their website is outdated. Ultimately, I had to talk to someone on the phone just to set up an account.

After two emails and the phone call, they sent me a “How did we do?” survey. Here is what the buttons in the survey looked like:

Notice how “Next” and “Previous” are not in the most intuitive positions — “Previous” should be all the way to the left, since left connotes “Go back” and right suggests “move forward” (in most of the world). You might be interested in this post I wrote about buttons on the web two weeks ago.

Their third button, “Suspend” is a little mysterious. I assume you use to save your work and come back later. But they should have it on a different line and put enough words into the button so one knows what it is. Matt Roche from Offermatica shared a trick about button wording:

I have a simple rule of thumb. The button text should “finish the sentence”.

For example, if I am signing up for cell service, you could say “Start my service” or “Get my phone”. For shopping, “Place the order” or, frankly, “Buy now”.

Now, let’s look at this one from Quickbooks:


Every time I use this, I am dying to click on “Change PIN.” After all, it’s the big button right where I am looking when I put in my PIN. I wish they would relegate “Change PIN” — a maintenance function — to a small link at the bottom of the screen. The wording is find, it’s the placement that is problematic.

Robbin Steif
LunaMetrics