Navigation buttons (continue, next, previous)
On multi-page forms, use a continue button to let people submit the current page and progress to the next one.
- Style continue buttons like this:
The GOV.UK button style is relatively flat, which means its affordance is lower than it could be. It's not a problem if you follow this advice:
- avoid similar styles elsewhere on the page that could be confused for buttons
- try to have as few buttons on a form as possible - just one is best
- avoid excessively long button text
- make sure the button text describes an action
See the for more advice on how to style buttons.
Position the continue button under the last question on the form, aligned with the left-hand edge of the text box.
The most natural reading pattern on forms is to look for the next box to type into / next question to ask, and the first place that people look is immediately under the left-hand edge of the previous text box.
This is particularly important for users of screen magnifiers, who have to laboriously search in other places if they don't find the button where it ought to be.
Buttons must describe the action they perform
Make sure the button text clearly describes the action that the button performs (not the action performed on the page the button takes you to). So for example, on the screen before a payment screen use 'Proceed to payment', not 'Pay now'.
If the action of the button changes, then change the text of the button to match the action
If the action of the button is simply to continue to the next page, it's fine to use 'continue' repeatedly.
if the action changes, then change the text to match it. For example: 'Find address', 'Proceed to payment', 'Review your answers'
We slightly prefer 'Continue' to 'Next'
'Continue' is a verb implying progress, so is slightly more suitable in this context. Continue' is a little easier to combine with other words than 'Next' (for example, some services have buttons labelled 'Save and continue'.) 'Save and next' arguably sounds a little weird.
We slightly prefer 'Next' for navigation links like pagination, where no user data is being changed. 'Next' works better in places where users may wish to step backwards and forwards through pages: it combines nicely with 'Previous'.
The GOV.UK Verify team has tested journeys that use 'Next' for the parts of the journey on GOV.UK and 'Continue' for parts on the identity provider. Partipants don't notice any difference and don't comment on the change.
Avoid multiple continue buttons