The Psychology of the Oversize Button

Back in the early 1990’s, it was just text links. Menus and actions were just underlined text which pushed you this way and that throught a site. Generally blue too, they were very predictable, and yet we understood very clearly what they were and they served a good purpose.

When there were buttons on a site, they were just the standard ‘Microsoft’-looking button: small, grey and missable.

Submit Button

Not very inviting, are they?

Then, with the advent of better graphics packages, things went a bit wild. Clip Art, Bevels and Shading:

Green Disaster Red Alert

Ouch – it was as if the 70’s had returned online and we suffered for it. There was a fascination about making as much as possible ‘not square’ so we had pill shapes in abundance.

Finally, things settled down a little. After all, hammering the eyeballs is not the same as being inviting! We started to see better and more subtle designs coming in:

Click Me Please

And, yet the problem was often that buttons were used in abundance, or sparingly. Or worse they had generic text on them: ‘Click Here’, ‘Send’, ‘Submit’… there was no priority, no emphasis and too often, again they were missed.

How times have changed. More often than not a site now knows much better what the purpose of a homepage is, or of other pages in the site. Is it little wonder that some of the most successful sites in the world make it difficult for you to do anything but the one action they really want?

What marketers have recognised is this – if you want someone to take a turning, then make it the only option and plant a nice large signpost for it!

So, the psychology of the oversize button is very simple… if you want someone to click it, make it OUTSTANDING!

Ergo Help Button

… With more than just oversize buttons.