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Choose the right button!

1 November 2018
Revital Elazar

The significance of action buttons on websites and apps cannot be overstated. To guide users toward the desired action (conversion) and enable them to accomplish their goals, users need to click the action button—a button designed to prompt action. The button on the website or app marks the decisive point, so it deserves careful consideration. Avoid settling for generic or simplistic words that won't engage your users; using just one word is akin to slowing down before crossing the finish line in a race.

What is a CTA button?

Clicking on a button on the website/application directs the user to perform the intended action for which the site was created. Therefore, investing considerable thought into the nature of the CTA button is worthwhile. We can categorize buttons into two types:

  • Generic buttons guide users to familiar actions (e.g., sharing, logging in, chatting with a representative). These buttons should be concise, clear, and informative, but we won't delve into them today.

  • Call-to-action buttons are typically designed to prompt users to submit a lead, download an item, or purchase and receive a product.

It's essential to highlight the concept of microcopy, where the "microcopy of buttons" plays an astonishing role. Changing a single word on a button can significantly impact conversions and hits, increasing or decreasing them by tens of percent. In brief, microcopy comprises short texts scattered across the site, including menu titles, field labels, error messages, confirmation messages ("Your order has been received"), usage instructions ("Type...," "Click..."), and buttons on the site—essentially everything related to user actions. Successful microcopy minimizes potential delays and interface-related issues during user interactions.

Why not simply write "submit form"? A user who has already planned to fill out the form will click on it regardless of the microcopy on the button. However, most users require a gentle nudge to encourage them to convert or take action. Generic words won't assist an indecisive user in making a decision and clicking the button; our goal is to make the decision-making process easier for them.

From the site, consider one of the buttons. It could have been labeled with generic terms like "Start," "Try it," or "Read more." However, the site opted to communicate directly to users the bottom line for which they should click on the button.

example for text on button


And how does all this important information relate to our world of knowledge management? How can we implement microcopy buttons in knowledge management systems?

Similar to a website or application, buttons in a knowledge management system should provide significant value to the system's users. A user seeking information in a system filled with data wants to access information most straightforwardly and rapidly to serve the end customer efficiently. When using action buttons in your knowledge management system, mainly as part of a process with decision nodes, focus not on instructing the user on what to do (the way) but explicitly on what they will receive (the value). For instance, consider changing the button caption from "Order Information" to "Get Information." Instead of "search," use "go searching," and so on.

I recommend always considering the perspective of a new user. While the interface may be clear and straightforward for you, having spent considerable time in it and being familiar with every aspect, your users may not share the same level of familiarity. The interface should use language understandable to all organization members, keeping the user as the primary focus.

Take the time to contemplate your knowledge management system, identifying areas where action buttons can be improved to give users a clearer understanding of what they will achieve at the end of the process.

Good luck!

finger pressing a button
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