Who you gonna call? Ghost buttons!

Well you can’t actually because they’re a design element used for navigating websites rather than a tangible way of communicating with a paranormal emergency service. Unless of course the button is a click-to-call in which case…

I think I’ll start again.

We published our 17 crucial web design trends for 2015 at the beginning of the year, and this is part of a series of posts looking at each trend in more depth.

This week it’s the turn of the transparent element known as a ghost button. 

Although they are essentially a call-to-action, ghost buttons aren’t meant to distract you, just attract your attention in a subtle way. 

They are transparent but have a recognisable shape, are bordered with a very thin line and contain light sans-serif fonts. They’re perfect for designers not wishing to clutter their sites and show off large background imagery, but still need to provide navigation for users.

Here are 12 phantom-like examples.

Deneen Pottery

Here the more direct ‘sales’ related button is kept subtly less significant than the button to view styles.

TBS

Note that the message of the button is ‘enter’, rather than ‘shop’.

Over

The ghost-button appears right at the bottom of the product page. Its subtlety comes easy as it’s a white background, but this would work just as well whatever the colour.

Ikea

‘A Good Day Starts Here’ is an interactive video based on the theme for this year’s IKEA catalog. By clicking on the button at the bottom of the screen you can view information based on the featured product.

Geox

Check out the brilliant interactive video for its Amphibiox range, which eventually leads to the product page below.

Vaughan

Although there is a lot going on in this tessellated flat design, the ‘explore now’ manages to attract attention when the visitor is ready for more info.

Vizio

Never underestimate the persuasive power of some subtle oak flooring.

O’Neill

Providing options for men and women clothing ranges, with a subtle border change.

Lush

Not letting the vibrancy of its products be hidden behind a solid call-to-action.

The Prince Ink Company

Although the company has added a second border around the button for style, this isn’t really necessary for encouraging click-throughs.

Breezy Excursion

Great looking button, although it’s a shame about the repetition of ‘now’.

Tic Watches

I’m including this as it proves that despite the lack of border around the button, you can still draw attention with just a minor change in texture.

Further reading…

For more design trends from the blog check out: