I’m sick to death of screens containing multiple submit buttons and in recent years I’ve been culling submit buttons from any web application I can lay my hands on.
My rule is simple…
“One submit button per screen”
In most situations there’s no need to create extra submit buttons for sideline options such as cancel, reset, delete, back or save.
Interaction designers need to focus the user on the most likely pathway…
… so if most of the time the user will fill out a registration form and send it, then present just one submit button, label it appropriately, and place it prominently in the bottom left or right-hand corner.
For optional functions such as ‘Save’ use an icon.
For navigation such as ‘Back’ use a hyperlink.
The result is a less cluttered screen and an obvious pathway for the user.
This method worked spectacularly well for the SJS website, with a 100% registration success rate in the usability tests, and is doing so well in the marketplace that most SJS offices have abandoned their paper forms and now direct students and employers straight to the website registration form.