Is the Seemingly Humble Button More Powerful Than the Headline?

What does "Humble Button" mean here?

Here is source.


The author is writing about website 'copy' (text) for sites which want to 'convert' visitors to active engagers by pressing a button. Traditionally in advertising, the headline is regarded as the most important text element; but this author suggests that the copy on the "humble" (lowly, unimportant, overlooked) button is actually more important in terms of getting people to press the button.


It's hard to tell without context, but at first glance it seems to be talking about the sort of button you click in a web browser, in this case I assume to get to an article.

Humble refers to a person who is the opposite of proud - they don't make a big deal of themselves. Slightly more figuratively, "the humble X" refers to something which people would not immediately assume is important.

The overall impression of that sentence is that of a question:

Is the button, which seems unimportant, really more powerful than a headline?

  • 1
    It's an interesting use of the word humble – one that we'll run across from time to time, but might be confusing to the learner. I think you've summarized it well with “something which people would not immediately assume is important.” In the context like the O.P. links to, we might even say, “something which people would not immediately assume is important – but really is.” For example, a fashion article about “the humble scarf” is almost sure to extol a scarf's versatility and how well it “completes” an outfit. The humble X often refers to an “ugly duckling” that turns out to be a swan. – J.R. Jan 25 '15 at 20:45

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