Hand Cursor on Buttons

Buttons don't need a hand

The hand cursor is reserved for links. Affordance of button interactivity comes from how the element looks (i.e. it should look like a button!), and should not require use of a mouse.

Further explanation & reasoning can be found in the excellent article, Buttons Shouldn't Have a Hand Cursor.

Ah yes, the elephant in the room. The exception to the above rule is for links that are styled to look like buttons. We should retain the elements default hand cursor - as the hand cursor reveals the elements true behaviour and its additional functionality (e.g. right-click actions).

Yes, this does contradict the prior statement of "affordance comes from how something looks" - but I don't think designers are going to stop styling links as buttons anytime soon, do you? So this is the best of an unfortunate situation.

To clarify:

  • No button should have a hand cursor

  • All links should have a hand cursor, even those that are styled to look like buttons

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