Android approve/deny button notification swap

Just got the new 4.0 mobile update for android. Why on god’s green earth, would you swap the approve/deny buttons placement in the push notifications? I have already denied quite a few push requests so far and it’s pretty frustrating. Is this a bug?


I agree there is no good reason to swap the Approve and deny button

Hi @jgilfoil and @Lanceh65,
I can definitely understand the frustration you feel around this change! It will no doubt take some time to get used to the new button placement. It is not a bug, but rather an intentional choice we made with the app. As for why, I’m not sure if you are just being rhetorical or would actually like to know, but I’ll assume the latter :slight_smile: as there are sure to be others who share your same question.

We have a help article that explains Why did Duo change the placement of the Approve and Deny buttons in Duo Mobile 4.0.0? This change is to create a more natural and consistent experience for the user across apps and is based on usability best practices. It was a decision we put a lot of thought, research, and testing into for exactly some of the reasons you cited. Longterm, we expect this will create a better end-user experience for Duo Mobile, though we recognize there might be an adjustment period for our current users.


Thanks for the response and explanation, Amy. I guess my only response is, that I wish the button placement had been a setting so that users who have muscle memory built on the old setup, could select their preference.


I just celebrated my 8th year at Duo and of course we 2FA all our things, so you can imagine I was extremely well conditioned to tap on the left to approve. It took a few weeks of accidental denies but even I have managed to learn new behavior.

I’m on Android, and I noticed that other app dialogs (and those from the OS itself) also have the “positive” action on the right, so it all feels natural and cohesive. When testing the new app on iOS (which I don’t often use) I also noticed the match between Duo Mobile and the OS UIs.

In fact, I’ve accidentally taken a negative action in other apps that still have the positive action on the left, so my brain now recognizes that as an anti-pattern.

Good luck, and thanks for using Duo.


This change has been so frustrating in the 10 minutes I’ve been using it that I signed up just to express how bad of a change this was. The fact that you had to write a KB article about it should have told you right then and there that this is a terrible idea.

How were most people using DUO? I cannot believe most people (if their notifications were working properly) were opening the app and then clicking Allow or Deny, and not just using the push notification.

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What compounds the problem is that I have deuteranopia, aka Red-Green Colorblindness.

The old style of buttons, have a greater contrast between “DARK”-red and “LIGHT”-green, and are easier to make out. The new buttons are closer in color range, SMALLER, and harder to make out.

Please go back to the old colors, with preferably larger icons too.

Hi @thomcat, thank you for taking the time to create an account and share your feedback with us. I’m sorry to hear that this change is causing you such frustration. I hope you’ll find that you adjust to the new placement fairly quickly.

I don’t personally know the answer to this, but our mobile team has data on that and can share that if you’d like. Anecdotally, most people I’ve talked to on iOS approve from the push notification, while most people on Android approve from in the app itself. I am the person who responds to app reviews for context, so that’s just what I have observed :slight_smile:

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@keithga thank you for sharing that useful feedback and perspective with us. I know the mobile team has been monitoring these discussions in the community, but I’ll also surface this specific comment with them.

ETA: We are definitely going to take this into consideration when designing the reds and greens. Thanks again for raising this to our attention!

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Hi there!

So ironically, moving the buttons around actually conflicts with most UI guides and flows when dealing with forms or confirmation prompts, ESPECIALLY within the notification shade.

If used within a “sequence” then it makes sense to have the positive action on the right side, yes, but natural reading order is intended to put the confirm as the first object read within prompts/forms, which this is.

As well as guidelines for actionable notifications typically have the positive/confirmation/non-destructive action be the first, with the negative/dismissive/destructive action being the second, or stacked vertically in the same order.

It just doesn’t seem to make sense changing the anticipated action for users already using it. The new app design is nice, absolutely, but moving key action buttons seems like more of an annoyance than anything (because now you have to deal with all of this feedback haha).

Appreciate your responses, sorry if this comes off harshly.


Hi @Lightning, thank you for weighing in to this discussion as well! No need to be sorry :slight_smile: Your response did not come off harshly at all. I appreciate you sharing your perspective here and citing sources as well.

To your point about UI guides and flows, button and action placement is probably one of the most debated topics in UX, and it’s possible to find evidence in favor of either side. Although we cite usability best practices as one reason for this change, it was far from the sole reason. Ultimately this was done based on years of accessibility audits, user complaints, and many hours of usability research and testing.

I certainly understand your perspective, and you’re right in that it is surely an annoyance to many users right now. For what it’s worth, we expect the learning curve to be rather short lived for our existing users. We anticipate having many more new users to Duo Mobile in the future than we have today, and this new experience is more natural and intuitive for those who are new to Duo Mobile.

Thank you for taking the time to read all of my responses and our reasons for this change!

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Evil. Plain evil. I understand why Duo did this, but you didn’t give us a setting to change the Approve and Deny locations back to the original placement. That’s the evil part.

Many of us have muscle memory to tap on Approve on the left side. I often swipe down the notification from Duo on an Android phone to Approve authentications, and even that placement is changed as well. So now I find myself accidentally denying most of my initial authentications. I’m stuck with Mobile Duo because my workplace has a contract with Duo to handle all of our 2FA. We’re a university with thousands of employees.

Let me share some of my daily routines and why this is MAJOR PITA for me…

I am an IT Generalist, so I do everything from software development to server administration and even desktop support. And because of this I’m logging into systems and services all day long. I probably get hit with logins and 2FA authorizations 20 to 30 times a day. I RDP to multiple servers, and RDP within RDP, use VMware, CyberArk, BigFix, Office365 and OneDrive/SharePoint, TeamViewer, VPN, you name it. And I’ve done work like this for three decades, although the specific services, software, and hardware all change over time. Ive been using MFA/2FA since 2015, and probably Mobile Duo since may be 2016 or 2017? So it’s been years of muscle memory that has been ingrained in me when approving authentications.

This change pissed me off so much that I spent the time to create an account here just to share this. We’re all human, and I have no ill will towards Duo employees just doing their job. But at the same time, some project manager or lead at Duo decided to make this dreadful change with high hopes of updating the UI to keep it more in line with industry standards.

Well, when you’ve had counter industry standards for years, then switch back to those standards, your UX is going to greatly suffer. That’s why you see the backlash now. The change should have been made from the beginning, not years later.

My development work is focused on a specific web application, but I do help out on other projects. Our IT director and those developers we have who handle those other projects would never change a UX that our customers have been using and are comfortable with for years. A mistake was made once that made it all the way to production that did this, and the backlash was brutal. We apologized and changed it back. Because our users are our customers, and we put them first instead of “industry standards” for design.

As for other users of Duo, you don’t get the front-line response like we do when our employees complain about this, because of course they think we can control everything IT-related. The silent majority that do not spend the time to complain to Duo directly… I’m hearing it frequently since this change. And they only use Duo may be a couple times a day, unlike us IT professionals that use it much, much more.

You could easily solve this by giving us an option in the settings to swap the Approv/Deny replacement.


I absolute agree with what ciphernemo is saying, we have been using Duo for quite some times. The muscle memory to push the button “Approve” at that particular location is expected. Now out of no where Duo decide to swap the button location is absolute nonsense. If you online shopping checkout all online transaction, ok is always on the left and cancel is always on the right. Microsoft products have the same function, to proceed ok is always left and cancel is always on the right. I have been denying the request for couple of times. Please do the right thing, either give us the option to change the button location or restore it back to normal.


Hi new user who exists only to give this specific feedback.

Wanted to dog pile in and say that this change was negative and leaves me with negative thoughts about DUO in general several times a day.

EDIT: I’d like to temper that, with I definitely get when testing and studies show one answer and then your userbase is vehemently opposed to said change.


I created an account specifically to come here and figure out why, on god’s green earth, they would make this decision. I’ve been using Duo for work for 4 years, then suddenly they swap the button locations and now my muscle memory is clicking deny CONSTANTLY. This was a terrible idea.

You’re claiming you made this move to put it in alignment with other apps, but this decision was made out of the blue and is INSANE. I adapt my workflows per app, not based off of a universal layout. You can do all the research you want, but you’re completely ignoring the human aspect of app design and usage. You conditioned us to use your app in a specific way, then you pulled the rug out from under us. Again. I’ve been using this app for FOR YEARS. The constant accidental denial of login attempts is so disruptive and infuriating.


Hoping to bring some positivity to this thread.

The button swap did throw me off at first and too but after a couple of days I’ve been able to adjust and get used to it.

As someone who is right hand dominant, I also think it will be more convenient in the long term.

A change like this also helps to make approving logins much more of a conscious decision rather than just relying on muscle memory.

I definitely feel the frustration every time I hit the deny button by accident, however those times are getting fewer and fewer each day.

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I created this account after wondering why I was constantly hitting the deny out of nowhere. Personally, I am left-hand dominant and got used to quickly tapping the left side of the screen to approve. I think there should be an option to switch back to the way it was.


This change continues to be EXTREMELY frustrating, so too was the color change as I am colorblind. this ignorance of color choice is poor form for a web designer. Give us a choice of which side we want the approve/deny to be on, it can’t be that hard, please become user friendly.


Duo, I hope you’re enjoying all of the 1 star reviews on your mobile app for Google Play store right now thanks to your changes after “years of accessibility audits, user complaints, and many hours of usability research and testing”. More 1 stars than 5 stars. Doesn’t seem like that study was worthwhile now, does it?


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I registered only to wish Duo developers have buttons in all applications they use every day being constantly moved around. Just so that they can have some taste of their own medicine. Should I have any influence on IT infrastructure decisions in my company I’d use it to move away from Duo, you don’t deserve any better for treating your users like this.