Clicking a physical button to trigger an action seems almost instinctual for us and defines the way we interact with most everyday objects like microwaves, washing machines, coffee makers, elevators, cars, etc. It’s no wonder that clickable buttons or call-to-action buttons have worked so well in the digital space as the most important element of an interface, clearly indicating where the user should take their next action. Buttons, in effect, have defined the way that users interact with website content… until now.
From voice recognition to gesture-based interfaces or biometric technology, User Experience designers are now thinking beyond the simple clickable button or basic types of touch mechanics (tapping or swiping) to design intuitive, relevant, and effective ways that users can interact with content.
What’s driving this trend away from the button? To start, the limited amount of digital real estate on a mobile site or app means that eliminating buttons can free up valuable space and help to focus the user on the content. So, button-free mobile interfaces are a way to “declutter” a smaller screen.
But, perhaps more importantly from a business perspective, the fewer number of clicks a user has to take to achieve their goal often results in higher conversion rates. Buttons, in these instances, act almost as mini-barriers that the user must overcome in order to reach their final goal — whether it’s a sale, a sign-up or registration, or a booking.
Or, is it simply just outdated? The most innovative UX designers are questioning whether buttons and the action of clicking is an outdated way of triggering an action based on a 20th- or even 19th-century world where physical machines were activated by buttons. Clearly, what was “intuitive” in 1950, or even 1990, is not intuitive in a 2020 world, or beyond, which is why the button-less interface has gone from a novel, innovative practice over the last decade to a mainstream practice that will define the user experience going forward.
- On 30th January 2020