Great discussion with some interesting points. Oh, and thanks Taneem :)
For further clarity on my situation, it is an edit screen. Essentially
you are viewing the details of an item, and the user would choose to
edit this item. This screen is a very small form (about 3 fields) in
which the user can alter the information. We've chosen 'save' as our
label for the default action. The second action will discard any changes
the user made and return the user to the previous screen. Okay, thats
the full scenario.
My personal feelings were to label the second action as to where you
went, hence a 'Go back'. But it's important to note that it is not
visually presented as a button but rather a link placed laterally to the
'save' button with ample space to separate it from the button. Exit
does tell you your going to leave as well. My question now is:
1) Would you think 'Exit' is better than '<- Go Back'?
2) While Todd's tests with 'Exit' were likely using two buttons similar
in appearance, does it change anything that our action is presented more
'link like' than a button? If Todd found that Exit performed well, would
a link presentation be better understood in a web context or worse?
3) Is it a bad idea to have the second action presented in a different
form than the first? So beyond the placement of default action to the
right or left, what about the secondary actions, or potentially harmful
actions, differing in their visual presentation? Bigger or smaller in
size? Differing in color or weaker in 'weight'. How far can it be pushed?
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted > material.] > > On Jul 26, 2005, at 10:08 AM, Jack L. Moffett wrote: > >> The button order in the Mac OS is the opposite, the reasoning being >> that the "confirmation" action that will move things forward should >> be in the lower, right-hand corner, following the Romantic languages >> which read left to right, top to bottom. > > > We've actually studied this as well. One of the things we've observed > is that customers/users/participants migrate towards the bottom right > corner of the screen. There are several things we think contribute to > this: > > 1. We read left to right (in the west anyway) > 2. As you fill out forms, you're typing left to right, you use the > mouse button to move from field to field, and your mouse is typically > in that region anyway. *1 > 3. Scroll bars are on the right side. Again, the mouse is already in > that area (Fitt's Law). *2 > > I've never really understood why Windows puts the default action > button to the left. In the Web world, there's a good technical reason > to do this, but it's still not a good reason... On the web, the > default button which will be executed when someone hits "Return" or > "Enter" on their keyboard will be the first button in the list. So, > if I hit "Return" then which ever button listed first will be executed: > > Cancel Okay (cancel) > Okay Cancel (okay) > Exit Save (exit) > Save Exit (save) > >