I have a simple request to make of developers who design dialog boxes for the applications I use: stop forcing me to translate every decision you ask me to make into a choice between
Now, I’m reasonably smart; my lips don’t usually move when I read. But I really have to slow down and read messages like this a couple of times to make sure I don’t click the wrong button. What is it with having to translate ever decision into
Cancel? Is their a tax on using more than six letters on a button? How about having us choose from, oh I dunno, buttons that are actually labeled with the actual options? Is it really so hard to do something like this:
Doesn’t this make it more clear what will happen if I click a particular button? And notice that I added a real,
don’t do anything! option — which is what I would normally expect
cancel to do.
So please, before you design a dialog box with a bunch of complicated instructions about when to click Ok and when to click Cancel, why don’t you try to replace the default labels with a short description of what the buttons themselves actually do?
Here’s another example that could use some rework. This is the dialog you get if you ask Excel to save a CSV (comma separated value) file:
I mean, sheesh, c’mon. I’ve been working with CSV files for years and I still have to read that carefully each time.
One more thing…
Something else that annoys me: Web developers who force me to enter my debit card number without any spaces. Because they couldn’t spend five minutes figuring out how to deal with spaces it’s now ten times harder to verify the digits are correct before clicking Buy. Seriously, what crappy language are you using that makes it so dang hard to strip spaces out of a string of input?