Mastering the Art of Design System Buttons: An In-Depth Guide


When it comes to creating a cohesive and user-friendly interface, design system buttons are the cornerstone of any dynamic user experience. These small, clickable elements can transform a website’s usability, making it a crucial feature of a thorough design system.

Overview of a Design System

A design system acts as a unified, comprehensive set of guidelines needed for creating outstanding web interfaces. This all-inclusive system comprises components, patterns, and guidelines including typography, buttons, icons, spacing, and colour palettes. Regardless of the digital product’s nature, the consistent application of design systems guarantees outstanding user experience.

Understanding Design System Buttons

In the midst of all components present in a design system, buttons bear noteworthy significance. They play an invaluable role in driving user interaction by serving as prompts for various actions like submitting forms, triggering pop-up elements, opening new pages, or initiating downloads.

Design System Buttons: Types and Uses

There are significant differences between primary buttons, secondary buttons, and tertiary buttons: each has a unique purpose and visual presentation.

  1. Primary Buttons

    Primary buttons are prominent components of the user interface that guide users towards a specific, desired action. Typically they’re distinct, bold, and easily spotted amidst other page elements.

  2. Secondary Buttons

    On the other hand, secondary buttons complement primary buttons, offering alternative actions. Independently, these buttons may lack emphasis, but they’re vital in the context of primary buttons.

  3. Tertiary Buttons

    Tertiary buttons are subtle, less-emphasized elements used for secondary operations within page components such as dialogues or modals.

These categories highlight the profound relevance of appropriately differentiating button types to optimise user engagement and overall user experience.

Creating Effective Design System Buttons

The creation of effective design system buttons revolves around fundamental principles.

  1. Consistency

    Consistency is the key factor that increases system usability, primarily by making the interface predictable. Regular button shapes and colours enable users to comprehend and interact seamlessly, thereby enhancing user experience.

  2. Size and Spacing

    The button size should be large enough to catch attention and small enough to feel proportionate. Likewise, the spacing between buttons should be ample enough to prevent mis-clicks yet close enough to maintain visual cohesion.

  3. State of the Buttons

    Including different visual cues for different button states like hover, focus, disabled, and active improves usability by communicating the button’s functionality.

  4. **Accessibility-friendly

    Designing buttons with accessibility in mind, by including elements like alt text and appropriate contrast ratios, ensures an inclusive user experience.

Leveraging the Power of Microinteractions in Button Designs

Microinteractions enhance user engagement by giving immediate, responsive feedback following user action. Hence, incorporating subtle animations to button interaction can significantly boost the user experience.

Counting on Button Icons – For Better, For Worse?

While button icons can aid in conveying button functions, they can also introduce ambiguity if inadequately implemented. Therefore, include icons only when they enhance clarity and don’t compromise the button’s purpose.


Understanding the design of system buttons goes beyond aesthetics; the functionality, clarity, and accessibility are equally crucial. By considering these components holistically while designing your buttons, you can create systems that are user-friendly, effective, and efficient.

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