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February 26, 2006


Adam Herscher

Tracking the user's actions and determining when the user no longer requires a dialog sounds nice at first, but has the side effect of providing an inconsistent user experience.

Even you yourself were confused about why you saw the dialog some of the time, and didn't see it some of the time.

Add to the equation that many users use multiple computers (home, work, friends', internet cafe's), and then you really begin to deviate from being able to provide a consistent experience around answering the common question posed in usability studies every day: "what do you expect would happen when you take this action?"

Anyhow, another solution is to provide a "Don't prompt me again" checkbox on the dialog. This way, the user can deterministically predict the behavior of her own computer based on her previous decision, and she knows when using a different computer that supressing the dialog is a configurable option (similar to how user's aren't surprised when they submit a form in IE and don't get a dialog telling them it may be insecure - they know such warnings exist out of the box, but are often disabled).


For me, Shift+Del permanently deletes a file *with* a confirmation dialog (*without* putting it in the trash).
Another strangeness is that if you disable the warning dialog and delete a file from a network drive with no trash support, the file is permanently deleted with no warning. D-uh!


Right-click on recycle bin->Properties->Global. Uncheck 'Display delete confirmation dialog'.

Dejan Jelovic

One thing is missing, though - an easy way to undo the delete.

Sifting through several gigs of trash is a fairly unpleasant experience. At the very least the Recycle Bin folder should by default order its contents by the time of deletion.


Mike Dunn

>One thing is missing, though - an easy way to undo the delete.

Ctrl+Z will undo move/delete/rename operations in Explorer.

I think it's been shown that having the UI change over time is a Bad Idea. See: adaptive menus in 2K and Office.
A simple "don't show me this again" checkbox is way simpler to code and use.

Scot B.

The Recycle Bin does sort by date deleted, instead of date modified which is the normal Explorer behavior.

A confirmation dialog for a single-key destructive action seems a good idea to me, because it would be easy to hit the key in error. A two-keystroke action does not need to be guarded as closely.

Greg Raiz

You can't really teach people within a dialog box. You'll never know if they actually read the dialog or if they just clicked ok without reading.

One way to do this is to continue to show the:
"Are you sure you want to delete" screen but at the bottom instead of Yes / No
you also add a checkbox that says.
"[ ]Always delete the file into the recycle bin."
Most people wouldn't check the box unless they understood the behavior.

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