Most intuitive way to indicate clickable elements on GUI across the program

by Stepan   Last Updated August 26, 2017 17:16 PM

There are several common ways to indicate that a GUI label is clickable:

Set hyperlink style (underline and blue) Cons: this steals attention and becomes a distraction for those familiar with a program.

Grey-out inactive elements. Works for checkboxes, but isn't suitable for text.

Add tooltips - user will hover over elements and learn what is clickable. Cons: user still might miss an element and the upfront cost (creating tooltips for all elements) is high.

Change background of all active elements if a hotkey is pressed. Cons: user must be fairly familiar with the program in order to know about this hotkey.

Show tutorial (similar to one on Stackexchange). Works for introduction of basic concepts. Cons: tutorial can only show most important functions because a user wouldn't watch a lengthy video. Besides it doesn't help when user is working with a program.

What is the most intuitive and non-invasive way to present active elements?

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