A push-button (also spelled pushbutton) or simply button is a simple switch mechanism for controlling some aspect of a machine or a process. Buttons are typically made out of hard material, usually plastic or metal. The surface is usually flat or shaped to accommodate the human finger or hand, so as to be easily depressed or pushed. Buttons are most often biased switches, although many un-biased buttons (due to their physical nature) still require a spring to return to their un-pushed state. Terms for the "pushing" of a button include pressing, depressing, mashing, slapping, hitting, and punching.