Design Patterns: Download Buttons


In the era of Web 2.0 download-buttons are becoming more and more important. Grey and simple few years ago, now they’ve become bigger, more colourful and come in dozens of variations. As the name says, download buttons are supposed to motivate visitors to use, or at least try the product which is offered on the site. Consequently, also visual appearance of download buttons has changed.


Usually a simple text entry is sufficient for a navigation bar. However, designer often combine plain text with small “download”-related icons – an example from can be found below.


Most arrows have the direction to the bottom or to the right (


The same here (


A more complex solution is presented on, however, the visual presentation is definitely more usable and attractive and – more importantly – the button is easier to find on the page.

This online-shop uses for every offered product a group of accompanying Icons (


The support of both Windows, Mac and Linux is usually emphasized by integrating logotypes in the download buttons (


Similar visual solution, but different approach – both multilingual release and stable release can be downloaded immediately, without need to view any further web-pages (

Since download buttons are gaining more weight, they are usually placed in the middle of the page and surrounded by a plenty of white space. Trying to achieve the attention of potential customuers, designers use new techniques and colourful solutions. Especially big buttons are trendy. They can be found everywhere.

Decorated with nice illistruation and arrow in button-look (


The same concept here (


and here… (


A more simple solution (


A decorative button in the style of 90s. Not usual, but still worth mentioning. (


Attractive dowlnload buttons should’t be overlooked and therefore have to be eye-catching. Could you overlook that one? (


Huge Buttons. Again. (


And again. (


Sometimes even with a slanted styling (

Summing up, the current trends in web-design present download-elements in a particularly impressive way. Buttons have to catch visitors’ attention and therefore are sometimes not only obtrusive, but even aggressive. The product isn’t hidden, which makes sanes if it is the main aspect a developer is concerned about. Consequently, the place for download-buttons is chosen properly – of couse, in the middle of the page.

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Co-Founder of Smashing Magazine. Former writer, web designer, freelancer and webworker. Sven is now writing Science Fiction Stories.


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  1. 1

    krishnamoorthy manickam

    November 30, 2006 2:22 pm

    Good designs….

  2. 2

    in my opinion, a download button should have an arrow which show down direction.

  3. 3

    Download Buttons If I can’t figure out that I have to click it to download it

  4. 4

    nice designs :)

  5. 5

    Nice designs and good suggestions. Great job carry on.

  6. 6

    how can I download a collection of button or a button on this site?

  7. 7

    i can’t down it!!!! help me!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. 8

    Ahhh, an old goodie from SM! :)

  9. 9


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  12. 12 was really good design.

    thanks a lot Host,

  13. 13


  14. 14

    Some of those last ones are a bit iffy, not sure what you were smoking…

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