Pattern #77: Ghost Buttons

Pattern Author: Luke Hay - Conversion Services Director @ Fresh Egg

Based on 4 Tests, Members See How Likely This Pattern Will Win Or Lose And Its (?) Median Effect

Almost Certain Loser
-5
-4
-3
-2
-1
0
+1
+2
+3
+4
+5
Almost Certain Winner
Ghost Buttons
  1. Ghost Button Contrast

    The idea with ghost buttons is to use a transparent fill along with a button border (instead of a color filled button). But does this popular style have a positive or negative impact?

Median Effects

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Engagement

Ex: Any Action / Visit

(4 tests)

?

Conversions

Ex: Signups, Leads

?

Sales

Ex: Transactions, Upsells

(1 tests)

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Revenue

Ex: AOV, LTV

?

Retention

Ex: Return Visits

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Referrals

Ex: Social Shares

Tests

Test #310 Tested on Backstage.com by Stanley Zuo Stanley Jul 25, 2020

Find Out How It Performed With 594,997 Visitors

Listing Mobile
  • Measured by visits to a detail page   |   p-val (?)

  • Measured by membership sales   |   p-val (?)

In this experiment, the style of a button leading to view detailed casting calls on a listing page was changed. In version the style was a filled high contrast blue background, and the the B variation there was a feint "ghost button" style. 

Get Access To See The Test Results

Test #307 Tested on Volders.de by Michal Fiech Michal Jul 17, 2020

Find Out How It Performed

Thank You Desktop
  • Measured by clicks on the secondary button   |   p-val (?)

  •  

This experiment measured a shallow click goal on a button that would encourage to repeated the action that was just completed (in this case a contract cancellation). In the control version (A) a thank-you screen shows a filled button style, and the variant (B) there was a ghost button. As a note, I also flipped the A-B in this experiment for the purpose of matching it to our ghost button pattern, which means that Volders in fact was starting  out with a ghost button to begin with. 

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Test #243 Tested on Goodui.org by Jakub Linowski Jakub Jun 05, 2019

Find Out How It Performed

Home & Landing Desktop, Mobile
  • Measured by visits to pricing page   |   p-val (?)

  •  

In this experiment, full red background buttons were changed to ghost buttons (red outline and transparent fill)

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Test #199 Tested on Freshegg.co.uk by Luke Hay Luke Sep 13, 2018

Find Out How It Performed

Home & Landing Desktop, Mobile
  • Measured by clicks on any of the primary buttons   |   p-val (?)

  •  

Get Access To See The Test Results

Leaks

Leak #39 from Booking.com   |   Jan 3, 2020 Listing

Booking A/B Tests Ghost Buttons, But Their Hopes Fade Away As Predicted

Ghosts buttons. We know that this style of buttons is net negative based on this evidence-based pattern. So when Booking ran this experiment, it's no surpirse that it was eventually rejected - a predictable replication. View Leak

For each pattern, we measure three key data points derived from related tests:

REPEATABILITY - this is a measure of how often a given pattern has generated a positive or negative effect. The higher this number, the more likely the pattern will continue to repeat.

SHALLOW MEDIAN - this is a median effect measured with low intent actions such as initiating the first step of a lengthier process

DEEP MEDIAN - this is derived from the highest intent metrics that we have for a given test such as fully completed signups or sales.