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SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] OK/Cancel madness [was Canb

Re: [Sigia-l] OK/Cancel madness [was Canberra IA Cocktail Hour]

From: Matthew Nish-Lapidus <>
Date: Fri Nov 09 2007 - 08:42:12 EST

Or, when you absolutely need to confirm an action, why OK and Cancel?
How did Cancel become the opposite of OK anyway?

I'd take a page from Mac OS and actually label the buttons with
choices that make sense. Save/Don't Save, Continue/Stop/Don't
Continue, Quit/Don't Quit, Delete/Don't Delete .... those options make
a lot more sense than a generic OK/Cancel.

As for placement, I tend to believe in putting the positive action on
the side that's closer to the edge of the window/area and highlighting
it. It could be either right or left depending on the alignment of
the buttons on the screen. Either way, it's easier for a user to hit
a button that's close to the edge than one that's sort of randomly
aligned in the window, people tend to automatically go to the edges of
a window.

On Nov 9, 2007 4:20 AM, Jonathan Baker-Bates
<> wrote:
> > > If the culture is right-to-left though, then the default
> > might have to go on the right.
> >
> I would prefer not to have an OK/Cancel culture at all.
> Whenever I can, I design systems that just do the user's bidding,
> without asking them if they mean it - because in 99% of cases they do.
> For the 1% who don't - give them an undo.
> Jonathan

Matt Nish-Lapidus
IA Summit 2008: "Experiencing Information" 
April 10-14, 2008, Miami, Florida
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