Buttons in a dialog

2 Mar 2007 - 6:24am
7 years ago
3 replies
397 reads
Ivo Domburg
2007

Hello all,

I'm currently working on gui and interaction improvements of a
content management application. The application runs in a web browser
but feels more like a desktop application. The application currently
uses a lot of dialog windows where the user can create and manage
different kinds of objects like images, calendars and forms. All of
these dialog windows have two buttons in the bottom right corner:

'Apply' (Save, it doesn't refresh main window -> I think that's wrong);
'Close' (Close dialog, refresh main window to show changes, if any).

I'm considering to change it to:

'OK' (Save and close dialog, refresh main window to show changes, if
any);
'Apply' (Save, refresh main window);
'Cancel' (Close dialog without saving).

The 'Apply' button will only be used in dialogs that handle
parameters of visible objects on a page, so the user can see the
result of changes without closing the dialog. I'm not sure whether
the 'Cancel' button should cancel all changes made in the dialog or
only those that were not yet applied by pressing the 'Apply' button.
And more in general I'm asking myself if this small change will be
worth all engineering effort that will be needed.
Any comments or ideas are greatly appreciated.

(oh, since this is my first 'real' post on this list: Hello, I'm Ivo).

Ivo

Comments

2 Mar 2007 - 3:14pm
Josh
2006

Ivo,

Couple questions:

1. Are you using a "lightbox" to render the dialog boxes? Do they visually
sit on top of the main window covering the content beneath?
2. When users interact with the dialog boxes, are they doing multiple tasks
or one task per dialog box?
3. Have you considered using Ajax type functionality to update the main
window as opposed to page refreshes?

--
Josh Viney
EastMedia Group
http://www.eastmedia.com

2 Mar 2007 - 3:39pm
Ivo Domburg
2007

> 1. Are you using a "lightbox" to render the dialog boxes? Do they
> visually
> sit on top of the main window covering the content beneath?
>
Yes, dialog boxes appear on top of the main window.

> 2. When users interact with the dialog boxes, are they doing
> multiple tasks
> or one task per dialog box?
>
Most of the dialog boxes are complex; users can create and manage
objects in them (so maybe 'dialog box' is not the right term)

> 3. Have you considered using Ajax type functionality to update the
> main
> window as opposed to page refreshes?
>
We are considering the use of Ajax, but that will require a lot of
refactoring. For now we use an iframe which content is updated (so
not a full page refresh)

Best regards, Ivo

On 2-mrt-2007, at 21:14, Josh Viney wrote:

> Ivo,
>
> Couple questions:
>
> 1. Are you using a "lightbox" to render the dialog boxes? Do they
> visually
> sit on top of the main window covering the content beneath?
> 2. When users interact with the dialog boxes, are they doing
> multiple tasks
> or one task per dialog box?
> 3. Have you considered using Ajax type functionality to update the
> main
> window as opposed to page refreshes?
>
>
> --
> Josh Viney
> EastMedia Group
> http://www.eastmedia.com
> ________________________________________________________________
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2 Mar 2007 - 3:50pm
Josh
2006

I would consider use of two buttons. "Apply Changes" (or similar text) and
"Close". Where "Apply Changes" would save and update the window but not
close the dialog box, and "Close" would only close the dialog box. I would
make sure to keep the two buttons visually separated w/ emphasis on the
"Apply Changes" button. If you're worried about users making changes and
then accidentally closing the dialog w/out saving, you could add an
additional check to see if changes were made while the box was open and add
additional messaging. Warning though, the additional messaging could get
quite annoying to frequent users.

Oh, and when user's click "Apply Change", make sure that they can see the
change take place in the main window. It's important for them to have some
visual que that the requested action actually took place.

--
Josh Viney
EastMedia Group
http://www.eastmedia.com

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