« Crack in the Memory Stick facade | Main | Death of the lame Recycle Bin confirmation dialog in Windows? »

February 12, 2006


Dick Boogaers

Here's another one:
If the deletion will result in some other user interaction, defer it until all chances the user has to cancel further actions have passed.

Case in point: if a user deletes a reservation in a reservation system and this has financial consequences (some money has to be paid back) simply go on with that, but provide cancel buttons along the way, to cancel the whole string of actions that took place since and including the delete action.

Michael Zuschlag

Right on! I think knee-jerk use of confirmation message boxes is one the design habits contributing to epidemic message-box-blindness (for example, see http://napps.networkworld.com/compendium/archive/003362.html). IMHO, a message box should appear only for exceptional circumstances (e.g., your Pattern #6). One should never design a message box to appear *every time* the user clicks a particular menu item or button. That said, there *is* a need for a GUI equivalent of a guarded switch to prevent slips of the mouse (or accelerator key) from activating an undoable command. A message box just isn’t the way to do it.

The comments to this entry are closed.