Two "Delete" behaviors - one type of label?

16 Apr 2009 - 6:32am
5 years ago
11 replies
320 reads
Harry Brignull
2004

There's also a third pattern - deletion with undo (as used on gmail). This
combines immediacy with safety...

http://37signals.com/svn/archives2/googles_gmail_undo.php

Perhaps that's your solution right there, and it avoids futzing around with
a new term or icon for "instant-delete" which lets face it, isn't going to
receive widespread adoption.

Harry

--
http://www.90percentofeverything.com

On Wed, Apr 15, 2009 at 2:58 PM, Daniel <letranova at yahoo.com> wrote:

> There are two "Delete" patterns I have noticed out there:
>
> 1. - Immediate Deletion: As the name implies, the delete action takes
> place immediately. There are no confirmation steps of any kind.
>
> 2. - Mediated Deletion: This type usually includes an intermediate
> "page" or dialogue box that asks the user to "confirm" that they
> indeed do want to delete the item along with very important pertinent
> information associated with the delete action.
>
> The problem for me arises when we use the same label for both of
> these different types of behaviors.
>
> In other words, nothing differentiates the different delete actions.
> Both of them may simply say "Delete this XYZ"
>
> Has anyone here seen a label that provides the users some sort of
> clue as to which action will take place?
>
> DISCLAIMER:
> (In the interest of clarity and saving time...I don't want this
> question to be confused with the closely related topic of whether
> "Confirmation dialogs" or "confirmation pages" are necessary.
> That's another question.
>
> For now I'd like to ask you to suspend your preference on whether
> you think confirmation is needed or not and assume that the system
> you are working on will have a "confirmation" step for some of the
> delete actions. To complicate things, the system will ALSO use
> Immediate Deletion. This way the problem is clear. Once again, this
> is not a question of whether you think the choice to allow both types
> of deletion is right or wrong. It's a question about labeling and
> differentiating two different delete processes.)
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
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Comments

16 Apr 2009 - 10:44am
Jack L. Moffett
2005

On Apr 15, 2009, at 9:58 AM, Daniel wrote:

> Has anyone here seen a label that provides the users some sort of
> clue as to which action will take place?

I have distinguished between these two patterns before by making the
"immediate deletion" buttons red, while leaving the "mediated
deletion" buttons the standard button color.

Best,
Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Senior Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.459.0310 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

In our society,
the scarce factor is not information,
it is time to attend to information.

- Herb Simon

16 Apr 2009 - 10:46am
Dev Yamakawa
2007

>
> > Has anyone here seen a label that provides the users some sort of
> clue as to which action will take place?

I can't think of an example at the moment specific to Delete functionality
but it is pretty common to append an ellipsis (...) to a label to indicate
that further input is needed from the user for the associated action. E.g.
"Open File..." or "Save As..." I wonder if this would make sense for your 2
types of Delete?

Dev

On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 4:32 AM, Harry <harrybr at gmail.com> wrote:

> There's also a third pattern - deletion with undo (as used on gmail). This
> combines immediacy with safety...
>
> http://37signals.com/svn/archives2/googles_gmail_undo.php
>
> Perhaps that's your solution right there, and it avoids futzing around with
> a new term or icon for "instant-delete" which lets face it, isn't going to
> receive widespread adoption.
>
> Harry
>
> --
> http://www.90percentofeverything.com
>
>
>
>
> On Wed, Apr 15, 2009 at 2:58 PM, Daniel <letranova at yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > There are two "Delete" patterns I have noticed out there:
> >
> > 1. - Immediate Deletion: As the name implies, the delete action takes
> > place immediately. There are no confirmation steps of any kind.
> >
> > 2. - Mediated Deletion: This type usually includes an intermediate
> > "page" or dialogue box that asks the user to "confirm" that they
> > indeed do want to delete the item along with very important pertinent
> > information associated with the delete action.
> >
> > The problem for me arises when we use the same label for both of
> > these different types of behaviors.
> >
> > In other words, nothing differentiates the different delete actions.
> > Both of them may simply say "Delete this XYZ"
> >
> > Has anyone here seen a label that provides the users some sort of
> > clue as to which action will take place?
> >
> > DISCLAIMER:
> > (In the interest of clarity and saving time...I don't want this
> > question to be confused with the closely related topic of whether
> > "Confirmation dialogs" or "confirmation pages" are necessary.
> > That's another question.
> >
> > For now I'd like to ask you to suspend your preference on whether
> > you think confirmation is needed or not and assume that the system
> > you are working on will have a "confirmation" step for some of the
> > delete actions. To complicate things, the system will ALSO use
> > Immediate Deletion. This way the problem is clear. Once again, this
> > is not a question of whether you think the choice to allow both types
> > of deletion is right or wrong. It's a question about labeling and
> > differentiating two different delete processes.)
> >
> >
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

16 Apr 2009 - 5:27pm
Tom Coombs
2009

Don't know what technology you're working with, but the Windows
distinction between Delete and SHIFT-Delete comes to mind. It's not
the same becuase they're both mediated, but it's an exmple of the
user selecting one of two different actions to perform, which might
work in your case.

In a sense it comes down to user types. Mediated deletion (or
undoable deletion) suits novices, hence it should be easier. Experts
might want efficiency of immediate delete, and they can be expected to
learn a "shift-delete" or equivalent to achieve it.

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18 Apr 2009 - 5:48pm
Elizabeth Bacon
2003

I support Dev in suggesting the ellipsis "..." to differentiate related controls where the difference is that one acts immediately and the other requires confirmation. A confirmation of a delete is technically a dialog box, although a lightweight one, and the ellipses is a convention here. "Delete" and "Delete..." are nicely differentiated. Although I like the idea of "Delete now" and "Delete" as similar in efficiency.

Cheers,
Liz

16 Apr 2009 - 3:22pm
Aditya Saxena
2009

On email web apps (like Gmail), we have delete option which deletes
the emails immediately and places them in the Trash folder. This
seems to be a very normal practice for using 'Delete'
functionality.

Normally, no application does 'Instant Delete' as that is not a
common interface practice. However, if you do want to use two kinds
of Delete within a single application, I would rather go with Jack's
solution i.e. color coding the buttons.

On the other hand,I do not agree with Dev Yamakava, because ellipsis
normally mean they are going to open a new dialog box and not a
message box, so you should avoid using ellipsis(...)

Now, coming over to the fact that you have an instant delete action
as well, be sure that the function is 'Delete'. Check if it is not
"Remove from list" or a similary kind of function that the button
should be serving. In that case, your deletion is stuck to one button
where you can ask for confirmation as well; while the other option can
be renamed to something more intuitive.

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16 Apr 2009 - 3:03pm
jasonrobb
2009

I like Dev Yamakawa's approach by putting an ellipsis after the word
"Delete..."

You could also do something like "Delete now" and "Delete?" and
ask for confirmation after clicking the "Delete?" button. Just a
suggestion.

Though I do believe the best thing to do is to have an "undo"
button after you've clicked.

Cheers,
Jason R.
http://www.jasonrobb.com

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27 Apr 2009 - 6:30am
Paras Aggarwal
2009

Though, I like the idea of using ellipsis to differentiate the two.
But if I think from a normal user perspective it should be more
intuitive and obvious.

Color coding the "Immediate delete" as red can make the system more
confusing as it will become more prominent and attract user as
compared to "Mediated delete".

What about labeling them as "Quick Delete" and "Delete"?

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27 Apr 2009 - 9:58am
Jennifer Vignone
2008

What about "Send to Trash" and 'Delete Trash"?
"Sending to the trash" would be more...keep it here for now, while "deleting" would be like placing the garbage bags out on the lawn.

Jennifer

==================================

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Paras Aggarwal
Sent: Monday, April 27, 2009 12:30 AM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Two "Delete" behaviors - one type of label?

Though, I like the idea of using ellipsis to differentiate the two.
But if I think from a normal user perspective it should be more
intuitive and obvious.

Color coding the "Immediate delete" as red can make the system more
confusing as it will become more prominent and attract user as
compared to "Mediated delete".

What about labeling them as "Quick Delete" and "Delete"?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=41286

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27 Apr 2009 - 9:20pm
DampeS8N
2008

Undo FTW. Always. No exceptions. Infinite if possible.

If I put it in the trash, the trash should take itself out when space
is needed. Like Tivo, only not slow and otherwise clunky.

Undo is the new delete. Anything else is laze.

Peace!

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28 Apr 2009 - 11:46am
Erin Lynn Young
2009

I also like the undo idea.

Another suggestion could be a trash can icon for immediate deletion,
and a "Delete?" button for the delete requiring confirmation.

I can't recall ever having to have confirmed a drag into a trash can
or a click on a trash can, but the ? after Delete could indicate the
questioning nature.

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29 Apr 2009 - 9:04am
DampeS8N
2008

You haven't used windows long enough then. :P

The only reason to confirm, is because you can't undo.
If you can undo the deletion easily, you don't need to confirm.

The only reason not to make something undo-able is that you don't
know how to. Not a very good reason. Go figure out how to make it
undo-able.

Everything that can be done with a computer, can be undone. I've
even had software that can undo a save. (in a really dumb way)

Trust the user. Let the user's actions guide you. They aren't dumb.
They sometimes click things by accident, but that doesn't mean you
should ask them the 100 other times when they meant to do it.

Google has caught onto this idea recently. And their
'in-the-next-page' undo link is a good alternative to confirmation.
But it is still confirmation. If they take even a single additional
step, they lose undo.

Multiple, modal, intelligent undo is the solution to all confirmation
woes.

That way, your confirmation messages can happen rarely and for things
that really ARE unrecoverable. Not exactly sure what that would be,
all the examples I can think of COULD have built into them undo.

But if we are talking about, say, MySQL. If you drop a database, that
is basically it for it unless you backed it up somewhere.

Clearly, the solution is to have your software make a backup it can
restore from, thus giving you undo, but there has to be software you
might interface with that is poorly designed enough that you'd lose
undo. It is only then when you'd need a confirmation message.

That, or the case of very large data small space. Tightly packed
data with limited space, like on a PDA. You may not be able to get
away with full scale undo there.

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