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Button

Buttons allow users to take actions from a current state to a future state.

Notice:

Are you upgrading to v4 (healthcare v8, medicare v6)?

Take a look at our v4 buttons migration guide to get started.

Examples

The following tables give an overview of the different available button styles in the selected design system. Each button has three controllable traits that can be used in various combinations. They are:

  1. Variation: which affects the border and background styles
  2. Color: defined as either main or alternate
  3. Context: specified as either on-light or on-dark

See the examples in the following sections to learn how they can be applied.

Button variations on light background
VariationMain (Default)Alternate
Outline (Default)
Solid
Ghost
Button variations on dark background
VariationMain (Default)Alternate
Outline (Default)
Solid
Ghost

Main buttons

Solid button

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Outline button

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Ghost button

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Alternate buttons

Each button variation (outline, solid, ghost) has an alternate option. Alternate buttons can be styled differently than the main buttons.

Alternate solid button

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Alternate outline button

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Alternate ghost button

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On dark background

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Button sizes

Buttons can exist in two sizes other than default: "big" or "small".

Big button

Small button

Adding icons

  • Add an inline SVG icon and it will become the same color as the button text. For the crispest icon rendering, ensure the icon has a square viewBox with values that are multiples of 8 (ie. 24x24).
  • Use the margin utility class to add spacing between the icon and button text.

Code

React

The Button component accepts its text as children (AKA inner HTML), which means you can also pass in HTML or custom components. This gives you a lot of flexibility and supports a variety of advanced use cases. The most common use case would be passing in an SVG icon along with the text.

In addition to the supported props listed, you can also pass in additional props, which will be passed to the rendered root component. For example, you could pass in a target prop to pass to the rendered anchor element.

React Properties Documentation
NameTypeDefaultDescription
childrenrequiredReactNodeLabel text or HTML
classNamestringAdditional classes to be added to the root button element.
disabledboolean
hrefstringWhen provided, the root component will render as an <a> element rather than button.
inputRefButtonRefAccess a reference to the button or a element
isAlternatebooleanfalseApplies the alternate color to a Button. By default, Button uses the main color.
onClick(...args: any[]) => anyReturns the SyntheticEvent. Not called when the Button is disabled.
onDarkbooleanfalseDefines a color palette best used when Button is placed on a dark background-color. By default, Button uses a light color palette.
sizeButtonSize
type"button" | "submit" | "reset"buttonButton type attribute
variationButtonVariationA string corresponding to Button variation classes.
analyticsbooleanAnalytics events tracking is enabled by default. Set this value to false to disable tracking for this component instance.
analyticsLabelOverridestringAn override for the dynamic content sent to analytics services. By default this content comes from the heading. In cases where this component’s heading may contain sensitive information, use this prop to override what is sent to analytics.
analyticsEventTypeOverridestringIf you need the event_type to be overridden for your use case, you can provide an alternate string here. Suggested values can be found in the EventType enum.
onAnalyticsEvent(event: AnalyticsEvent) => voidOptional callback that will intercept analytics events for this component. If none is specified, the design system will use the default analytics function, which can be overwritten globally with setDefaultAnalyticsFunction.
analyticsParentHeadingstringIf needed for analytics, pass heading text of parent component of button.
analyticsParentTypestringIf needed for analytics, pass type of parent component of button.
This component passes any additional props to its underlying <button> or <a> element as attributes. See the corresponding MDN documentation for <button> and <a> for a list of valid attributes.

Styles

The following CSS variables can be overridden to customize Button components:

CSS variables for button
VariableDefault Core Theme Value
--button__background-color--activehex value: #d9d9d9--color-border
--button__background-color--disabledtransparent
--button__background-color--hoverhex value: #f2f2f2--color-gray-lightest
--button__background-colortransparent
--button__border-color--activecurrentColor
--button__border-color--disabledcurrentColor
--button__border-color--hovercurrentColor
--button__border-colorcurrentColor
--button__border-radius3px
--button__border-width1px
--button__color--activehex value: #00395e--color-background-inverse
--button__color--disabledhex value: #d9d9d9--color-border
--button__color--hoverhex value: #004f84--color-primary-darker
--button__colorhex value: #0071bc--color-primary
--button__font-weight700
--button-icon__fillcurrentColor

Analytics

This component has analytics tracking available. Please see our developer documentation about using analytics in the design system.

Guidance

Buttons are promises to the user; they must deliver the promise they offer by doing what the button says it will do.

When to use

  • Use buttons for the most important actions you want users to take on your site, such as "Download," "Sign up," or "Apply."

When to consider alternatives

  • Less popular or less important actions may be visually styled as links.
  • Buttons are for performing actions, not making choices. If you need your users to make a choice, use something else like radio buttons. Alternatively, if one choice is much less important then try styling it as a link instead.

Usage

  • Avoid using too many buttons on a page. Aim to use only one button per page.
  • Avoid similar styles elsewhere on the page that could be confused for buttons.
  • Use buttons for the primary action and links for secondary actions.

Label text

  • Use sentence case for button labels.
  • Button labels should be as short as possible with “trigger words” that your users will recognize to clearly explain what will happen when the button is clicked (for example, “Save and continue,” “Download” or “Sign up”).
  • Make the first word of the button’s label a verb. For example, instead of “Complaint Filing”, label the button “File a complaint.”
  • If a button has an icon, it should still have accompanying text describing the action.

Destructive buttons

  • Confirm the user meant to trigger a destructive action before following through with the action.
  • Provide a method for a user to undo a destructive action.

Disabled buttons

  • Don’t disable buttons, unless there’s a good reason to.
  • If you do disable a button, make sure it receives the disabled styling. A button element will automatically be styled as a disabled button when it has the disabled HTML attribute, but an a element will need to have the .ds-c-button--disabled class applied to it.

Accessibility

  • Buttons should display a visible focus state when users tab to them.
  • Create a button with a button or a element to retain the native click functionality. Avoid using <div> or <img> tags to create buttons. Screen readers don't automatically know either is a usable button.
  • When styling links to look like buttons, remember that screen readers handle links slightly differently than they do buttons. Pressing the Space key triggers a button, but pressing the Enter key triggers a link.
  • Dimmed or unavailable buttons should have the disabled attribute applied. This removes native click and keypress events from the button. It also prevents automated scanners from logging a low contrast error. Finally, it announces the button as "dimmed" or "disabled" to screen readers, offering users additional context.

Content

  • Describe what will happen, not the current state.
  • Buttons always start with an action word describing the main thing users will do once selected.
    • Pair it with a noun to help it be clearer. Example: Get tips.
    • If in a form, it can be just the action word if it's navigating between steps. Example: Cancel, Back, Next.
  • Use the least amount of words possible (no more than 6 with 2-4 being ideal).
Moving through a process or sequential steps after starting

For forward movement to the next page or step.

Learn more

Button alignment

ARIA

Component maturity

For more information about how we tested and validated our work for each checklist item, read our component maturity documentation.

Accessibility

  • Color

    Meets AA color contrast standards for accessibility and color blindness.
    Complete
  • Forced Colors Mode (FCM)

    While using FCM the components text is legible and improves readability.
    Complete
  • WCAG 2.1 Level AA Conformance

    All Axe checks for WCAG AA compliance have passed.
    Complete
  • Screen readers

    VoiceOver, NVDA, and JAWS screen readers provide concise communication and interaction.
    Complete
  • Keyboard navigation

    Component is fully navigable with a keyboard.
    Complete

Code

  • Storybook

    Component has stories to cover all defined props.
    Complete
  • Responsive

    Component designed to work in all responsive breakpoints.
    Complete
  • Spanish translations

    Includes Spanish translations for default text content.
    Not applicable

Tokens

  • Code

    Tokens implemented in code.
    Complete
  • Design

    Tokens implemented in the Sketch.
    Complete