Monday, March 10, 2014

Stop asking questions with "ok" or "cancel" answers

How many questions can be answered with either "ok" or "cancel"?
I suspect you think very few. Yeah, me too.

So why is it that so many apps ask questions and only give "ok" and "cancel" as possible answers?




If you're working with Windows Phone and say that's the only options available then hang your head in shame. There are lots of alternatives


Another thing:

"cancel" is not the opposite of "ok"

If you are going to ask the person using the application and give them some options as answers, at the very least I'd expect those options to make sense and cover all eventualities.

Having "MessageBox.Show()" in your code is almost always an indicator of a poorly designed interaction or notification and contributes to a poor user experience.
Don't do it. ok? - or cancel?

7 comments:

  1. As Peter mentioned on Twitter (https://twitter.com/peterfoot/status/443037546361401344) there's another option for creating messages at http://www.nuget.org/packages/InTheHand.UI.Popups/

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  2. One more for you Matt: http://www.visuallylocated.com/post/2013/11/25/Update-Creating-a-custom-MessageBox-for-your-Windows-Phone-apps.aspx

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Shawn.

      For anyone else, there are also messagebox alternatives available from:
      Telerik - http://www.telerik.com/products/windows-phone.aspx
      Infragistics - http://www.infragistics.com/products/windows-phone/
      Resco - http://www.resco.net/mobileformstoolkit/details.aspx?p=WindowsPhone

      Delete
  3. >Having "MessageBox.Show()" in your code is almost always an indicator of a poorly designed interaction or notification and contributes to a poor user experience.

    Why is it so?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous5:08 am

      Did you read the article?

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    2. Anonymous2:26 pm

      The "article"? You mean the totally random statement of opinion? Without any reasoning or arguments or whatever?

      Delete
  4. I agree. OK / Cancel are usually not the answers. Modal pop-ups are useful. "Do you want to delete this file? [Yes] [No]". If the action the user is taking can not be reversed such as the file delete example you should prompt. Some like to go a step farther and say [Yes, delete the file]. Harder to do long button text on a mobile device.

    You don't want to over prompt. If the user chooses Cut / Paste and there is an Undo then don't ask if they want to Cut the text. Adding a row to a grid with one editable column? Probably don't have to prompt for that but if it is intensive to repopulate you might consider it.

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