Position the continue button under the last question on the form, aligned with the left-hand edge of the text box.
Caroline JThe most natural reading pattern on forms is to look for the next box to type into / next question to ask, and the first place that people look is immediately under the left-hand edge of the previous text box.
This is particularly important for users of screen magnifiers, who have to laboriously search in other places if they don't find the button where it ought to be.
Use 'Continue', not 'Next'
'Continue' is a verb implying progress, so is slightly more suitable in this context. Use 'Next' for navigation links like pagination, where no user data is being changed.
The point here is to label the button with what it does. I haven't seen any evidence of users misunderstanding 'next' in this context. I have seen users reassured by longer text such as 'save and continue'
That's OK - so say that, don't try to justify a choice which is mostly arbitrary
Buttons must describe the action they perform
Make sure the button text clearly describes the action that the button performs (not the action performed on the page the button takes you to). So for example, on the screen before a payment screen use 'Proceed to payment', not 'Pay now'.
If the action of the button changes, then change the text of the button to match the action
If the action of the button is simply to continue to the next page, it's fine to use 'continue' repeatedly.
if the action changes, then change the text to match it. For example: 'Find address', 'Proceed to payment', 'Review your answers'
Avoid multiple continue buttons
Buttons are for performing actions, not making choices. Try to establish the convention of a single, strong call to action on each page. If you need your users to make a choice, use something else like radio buttons. Alternatively, if one choice is much less important then try styling it as a link instead.
I don't understand 'return to your saved form'. What do you mean?
It's similar to LPA's start page: https://www.lastingpowerofattorney.service.gov.uk/home 'apply now' means create an account and start filling in the form 'Return to your saved form' means sign in to the 'account' you created earlier and complete or continue to work on your application.
We tried an approach closer to LPA's 'sign in' but found that too many returning users missed the 'sign in' link and started with a new application.
Definitely a pattern here - apply / renew is very similar. I wonder if you make the first question after the 'Apply' button "Are you renewing your X or are you applying for the first time?". Particularly for low-frequency transactions where you might only use it once a year people might need reminding.
Another option: if someone goes down the 'apply' path but enters an email address that's already been used, get them to sign in? Might be security issues here...
from what we've been testing, if people don't create an account upfront (and you give them a 'hard to guess url') and you have a form with multiple pages, people don't think that clicking the next button will save their data and they assume they need to do some other action. We're now testing "save and continue" instead of the next button and a link near the header called 'save and quit' for people who want to end their session.
Many of our MoJ services (such as Civil Claims) have a digital part followed by paper or payment part (Employment Tribunal) so there's no clear transaction end page. In that case there's probably more a 'digital application completed, here is what you should do next' page