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OK Cancel Apply or Done

I am a CD user and I have read most of Joel's articles.  I notice that he diverges from the MS methodology in a couple of ways that puzzle me.

The first one is replacing the Ok Apply Cancel buttons (or whatever) with a Done button, and Close when pertinent.  I was wondering what the thinking is behind this.  Avoid undo?  Did testing indicate it?  I have seen this argued ad nauseum and I am becoming convinced.

The second thing is the default button on the delete dialog is No instead of Yes.  I am a hardcore keyboard user and when deleting I click the spacebar.  Of course, without undelete, at most this seems counter intuitive, at least annoying.

Any thoughts?

B#
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Just because MS does it doesn't make it the right thing to do. "Ok cancel apply" is the most mis-used and mis-understood idiom ever. The majority of people always hit "apply" then "ok" not realising that "ok" actually does an "apply" and also don't realise that if you hit "apply" then "cancel" you aren't undoing that "apply", you're just dismissing the dialog. It's a minefield.

Trouble is that MS can't exactly throw it away in all their products because people get used to things the way they are and people hate change.

That's my two cents.

John C
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

I couldn't agree more.

I was wondering what spurred FogCreek to make the change considering how Joel espouses the MS look and feel in articles, etc.

It seems both these issues fly in the face of that reasoning.

Or I could be wrong. <g>

B#
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

The No button should be the default for any destructive operation. The user should have to explicitly make an extra effort to confirm that they want to throw some data away.

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

The user is already confirming it by virtue of the Confirmation dialog.  Double confirmation?  Seems excessive, No?

B#
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

The confirmation dialogue for deletion is to protect against accidental deletion. To then make the Yes button the default on that dialogue would run counter to that. Most users don't read dialogue text and just press Enter or Space to press the default button.

One of the golden rules of HCI is don't punish the user.

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

The safest method would be to provide an undo.  It also happens to be much harder to implement.  I'm suspicious that this is, in fact, the reasoning as I've done the same myself.

Joel, Michael, etc?

B#
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

It's so weird that this posts ends up in the CityDesk forum and questions about CityScript end up in the JoS forum....

I agree, OK, Cancel, Apply are confusing... What about "Do It" "Don't Do It". Why do we need a button that does it and doesn't close, and a button that does it and closes?

Mark T A W .com
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

The original reasoning behind the Apply button was that users could try things out without dismissing the dialogue. Think of changing the desktop wallpaper. Of course, it's never really worked for the reasons that John pointed out.

Undeleting items from CityDesk wouldn't be hard to implement because it's documented that they just set a flag to indicate that the record is deleted. The Compact command purges such records.

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Undeleting an article is no problem, undoing an edit after a save is another thing, I think that was B#'s point.

Windows behavior is sometimes strange too, for example, the default is to verify delete when the file is going to the recycle bin, what a waste of time.

Ron Lane
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Not a waste of time if you are deleting from a remote computer... Then it doesn't go to the trash, it goes into the void.

Mind you it might be better to have it go to the trash and no prompt, but in its current state a prompt is much better than nothing.

Phibian
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

I've posted several of these kinds of inquiries and have yet to receive a response from anyone at FC.

It makes me wonder if I am simply too "C" to be bothered with or is this forum just for how-to's and bug reports?

You want fries with that?

B#
Thursday, September 18, 2003

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