Talk about the use of the cancel key and the Undo key

Source: Internet
Author: User
Keywords Buttons appearing often talking confirming

"Cancel" (Cancel,stop) and undo (undo) seem to be the same thing and seem to be similar. However, there are some differences in the use of the two, the experience is slightly different.

One, cancel key and undo key

We are often asked to confirm when we perform an action, which often gives two buttons, "OK" and "Cancel". The Cancel button often does not appear alone, but with actions such as OK, save, and so on.

(common in the Operating system such dialog box, contains two keys, confirm-ok, and cancel-cancel)

Undo, in fact, is CTRL, back to the last operation, returned to the previous page. The biggest difference from cancel is that the "cancel" action is done before the action occurs and the undo action is performed.

(After the message is deleted in Gmail, there will be a undo prompt on the top of the page)

Undo is often not written in words, but instead with symbols (rightwards arrows). There are also special forms of canceling operations, such as stopping the loading of page content while browsing the web, which is an abort of an operation that takes time. In that sense, cancellation also has a particular symbol, expressed as a fork, or a horizontal bar in the middle of a red hexagon.

(Cancel key in browser address bar)

(Cancel key in browser toolbar)

Ii. How to design

"Cancel" and "undo" are not the necessary processes for the operation, nor should they be designed as primary elements.

When you design the Cancel key (or the Action confirmation page), you will always have the "confirm", "save" button on the left, and identify it with a bold format, or select it by default. The Cancel button is often on the right. Mac system because of "> Use habit, often position upside down."

(Cancel key design in delicious)

(Cancel key design in Flickr)
For some actions that encourage users to do so, you should downplay the "cancel" action. such as watercress on the publication of the film review page, using gray and small, in the format and other buttons are not the same, the entire page highlights only a "OK, add comment" button.

(Cancel key design in Douban)

Undo keys are not designed much and are often overlooked in web design. Gmail is a good example, but Google Calender has no undo button.

Iii. different experiences

Although the operation of the reverse, but it is due to the different time, the user experience on the feeling of nature is also different.

The "Cancel" key always appears immediately after the action executes, at this time is full of the previous action, naturally without thinking to choose "OK" (usually also is the default), and then regret. So, although it is to prevent mistakes, because the "cancellation" appears too fast, users do not even realize that "their own operation may be wrong."

By contrast, the Undo button appears generous and magnanimous, and users can be assured of exploration on the site (Security exploration, safe exploration), to build the confidence of the user has a great help. Multiple-level undo operations are also available on highly interactive interfaces such as Ms Office, Photoshop, and so on.

Of course, not to say that you will never use the "Cancel" button in the Web page, you have to use the Undo button. It is not that we must first come to a "cancel" button, and then get an "undo" button, to a double insurance. In the design of the user to consider the use of habits and daily mistakes, improve product fault tolerance is the key.

For relatively risky operations, organize several optimization scenarios that use the Cancel key:
1. Do not use "OK", "OK", "Yes" and other simple general words: use some words to describe the operation results, forcing users to read. But here to note the length of the text, if it is a button, text to refine; if it is a link, it can be a little longer.
2. will be canceled as the default.
3. Provide a third option: Provide a third choice that is safer than a direct deletion, rather than a simple yes or no option. For example, in itunes (below) choose to delete a song, the default selection is "Reserved file" (deleted in the track library, but the file is still saved in the original location of the disk, do not move into the Recycle Bin).

Copyright notice: When reprinted, please indicate the original source and author information of the article by hyperlink form and this statement

Related Article

Contact Us

The content source of this page is from Internet, which doesn't represent Alibaba Cloud's opinion; products and services mentioned on that page don't have any relationship with Alibaba Cloud. If the content of the page makes you feel confusing, please write us an email, we will handle the problem within 5 days after receiving your email.

If you find any instances of plagiarism from the community, please send an email to: and provide relevant evidence. A staff member will contact you within 5 working days.

A Free Trial That Lets You Build Big!

Start building with 50+ products and up to 12 months usage for Elastic Compute Service

  • Sales Support

    1 on 1 presale consultation

  • After-Sales Support

    24/7 Technical Support 6 Free Tickets per Quarter Faster Response

  • Alibaba Cloud offers highly flexible support services tailored to meet your exact needs.