It’s 2018, and we’re not quite done yet with web design trends. Just when we thought “flat design” would be the big theme of the year, along came “responsive design” to shake everything up. Now, we’re seeing “retro design” become popular as well.
While flat design and responsive design focused on the look and feel of a website, retro design takes the opposite approach and tries to bring back the good old days of web design. One popular trend that falls under the umbrella of retro design is buttons.
Buttons are essential parts of a website. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to navigate to other pages, take advantage of any opportunities presented by the site design, or submit forms to interact with the website’s content. But beyond the functional aspects, buttons can also be a source of creative inspiration when it comes to styling a site. The key is to find the perfect balance between form and function when choosing the button style you’ll use.
The Pros And Cons Of Buttons
As we’ve established, buttons are pretty important. When it comes to web design, there’s not one right answer when it comes to how to style your buttons. It really depends on what you’re trying to achieve and what works best with your site’s design.
Buttons fall into two main categories: external and internal. External buttons are simply the ones that appear outside of the website when it’s opened in a new browser tab or window. These are the kind of buttons that visitors will most likely click on because they’re presented in a prominent location on the page and they’re clickable.
External buttons can be styled to match the site’s design. When it comes to print media, we often see a specific pattern of four or five buttons in a row – these are known as column buttons. While these are useful for directing a reader to a certain part of an article, the same thing doesn’t necessarily apply to a website.
Buttons that are styled to look like print media can end up looking like something out of a comic book. If you do decide to use this pattern for your website’s buttons, make sure to scale it down so it fits the medium. An underwhelming button is one thing, but an incomprehensible one is another.
On the other hand, internal buttons are those that appear inside the website – typically in a smaller size than the ones used for the site’s header or footer. These are the hidden buttons that we sometimes miss because they’re not always called out in the text, but they’re still a vital part of the browsing experience. Internal buttons should be a part of the text because they’re linked to something important inside the site.
Usually, internal buttons are used to navigate to another part of the site, but they can also be for an opt-in form or for subscribing to a newsletter. In some instances, we’ll see a call to action button that encourages the user to purchase a product or service.
These buttons can be styled to match the site’s design, but that doesn’t mean they have to. Generally speaking, it’s best to keep the styling consistent with the other elements on the page. When choosing the text color for the buttons, use one that compliments the site’s color scheme. You can also create a contrast by using a dark text color against a light background.
Retro Design As A Trend
Many web design trends come and go, but there are a select few that truly stand the test of time. One such trend is going back to basics – or rather, going back to the good old days of web design, when websites were simpler, bolder, and more efficient. One of the most prominent examples of this style is Patreon, which was designed by Studio LeBeau and launched in 2014.
This crowdfunding website allows creators to make their content available for free, as well as offer rewards to those who support them. The website’s call to action buttons are deliberately kept simple and sleek in order to keep the user’s attention and encourage them to make a donation. And, as we mentioned earlier, buttons are a vital part of a website. Without them, all of the text would become useless.
Although many websites are still built using the four- or five-column pattern for their buttons, you’ll see instances where companies decide to take a more modern approach and ditch the columns for something more streamlined. Take The Weather Company’s website, for example – the buttons here are all but invisible when viewed on a computer screen, yet they still direct the user to the right place. The best part about these buttons is that they don’t take up any extra room on the page, which means more space for content.
The Biggest Mistake
If you look at almost any blog post or website, you’ll see a comment section at the end. This is where people can leave comments in response to the content that we’ve published. Inevitably, when someone leaves a comment, they’ll often provide feedback on the content itself or the website itself.
This kind of feedback is important, but it can also be a major source of content for other websites. In order to prevent this from happening, you need to be careful when choosing the wording in your disclaimers and comment policies. Ideally, these policies should be as inclusive as possible, which means they should not only cover issues relating to the content of your website, but should also extend to issues of personal experience.
Too often, we’ll see disclaimer policies that explicitly mention issues relating to the content of the website, but ignore any issues that could potentially arise from the personal experience of the commenter. For example, if you’re writing about fashion, you might want to include a comment section, but you might not want to be the judge of whether or not the clothes that somebody is wearing is fashionable. Or, if you run a blog about travel, you might want to include comments on destinations or accommodations, but you probably don’t want to be the judge of whether or not somebody finds a destination or accommodation interesting or appealing.
Comments are an essential part of any discussion forum or social media platform. As much as you might want to keep the content relevant to your niche, you can never underestimate the fact that the Internet never forgets. These are the kinds of websites where people can find your content years later, when they’re searching for something related to your niche.
This is why it’s important to have a policy in place that explicitly states what kinds of comments are allowed and what kinds are not allowed. If you see that someone has left a nasty comment on your site, it’s your responsibility as an owner to remove it. Even if you want to leave the comment, you should consult with a designer or lawyer to make sure that your site’s comment policy is up to date.
How To Choose The Perfect Buttons For Your Website
As we’ve established, choosing the perfect buttons for your website is something that needs to be done carefully. But, once you’ve found them, you’ll wonder how you ever managed to browse the web without them. For that matter, once you’re finished with this article, you’ll wonder how you ever managed to create a functional website without them as well.
Fortunately, choosing the perfect UI elements for your site doesn’t have to be hard. As a general rule, you just need to look at other successful websites that operate in your niche and see what they’re doing.
These are the buttons that they’ve chosen to use and you can emulate their style. Naturally, you don’t need to use exactly the same design as they have. Instead, you can take their general idea and make small changes to fit your own website.
Since buttons are one of the most vital parts of a website, it’s important to have a look at other successful websites in your niche and see what they’re doing. Are they using traditional buttons in a prominent location on the page? Or, are they using an alternative design that works better with their site’s overall style?
As we’ve seen, not all buttons are created equal, and it’s important to find the right ones for your website. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to choose the perfect buttons for your site, check out this article on UX design blogs that can help. Alternatively, you can also use Google Trends to search for design keywords and get a good sense of what’s popular and what’s not.