Greetings all,

I committed to doing research on button placement and here are some examples of what I found.  You will not be surprised to learn that there is no "right" answer.

From UX Matters, 7 Best practices for Buttons:
"..on the vexing question of Next and Previous buttons in survey research. You can find opinions everywhere­and they’re often backed up by references to various style guides, articles, and even actual research."
The article goes on to say that context is everything and recommends that the action be placed as close as possible to the final interaction on the page in question.
In my opinion this supports the idea of putting the Next button in the center of the page as the activities are so left-focused.

Eyetracking research  supports the idea that the best place for a button is aligned with the left side end of text boxes. Users searching for the Next control looked first just below the inputs, second at the right hand side and lastly to the left of the screen.

The conclusion of Placement and Design of Navigation Buttons in Web Surveys is this:
"We recommend that designers consider the use of a hyperlink for the Previous or Back function, or place the Previous button below the Next button, either centered (if the questions are centered on the page or the majority are presented horizontally) or on the left (if most of the questions are presented vertically and left-justified)."
Again, the question seems to marrow down to whether Next should be on the left or in the center. There is no page configuration for which they support putting the Next button to the right.

These results seem to stem from a long standing... "Windows convention of placing the most frequently used functions on the left of the menu bar. For example, “Save” or “OK” is often on the left while “Cancel” is on the right (see Ferrell, 2009)."  Quote is from the same article.

Hope this is helpful, and please let me know if more research is needed.


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