OK/Cancel [wrong heading - Jaiku ]

19 Nov 2007 - 7:58pm
6 years ago
11 replies
538 reads
Juan Ruiz
2007

Prasad,

This has been a conversation that has been posted in the IxDA and SIGLIA
mailing lists many times, and it has come to this: "it depends". I am in
favor of the action button [ok] to be on the left, with the condition
that the form is a single page and the action will be carried out
immediately.

I would like to see if somebody has run usability tests or research to
define best practices for this argument.

-Juan

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Prasad Perera
Sent: Tuesday, 20 November 2007 11:25 AM
To: IxDA Discuss
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Jaiku

Hi All,

Has anyone done extensive user testing for placement of OK, CANCEL
buttons? Should OK be on left and CANCEL on right? I have seen many
theories to how it should be but didn't come across any results of an
actual user testing on this subject. If anyone has information about
this, please let me know.

Thanks
Prasad Perera
User Experience Architect

Comments

19 Nov 2007 - 8:26pm
bminihan
2007

For performance reasons, we almost always settled on OK on the left, Cancel
on the right in web forms. It sped up completion of the form (in tests) by
being the first button you wind up on when you tab out of the last field
(saves a tab), and was more obviously the button that would respond when you
pressed "enter" on the keyboard within the form (this last is subjective,
but someone mentioned it in a test, and it kind of makes sense).

Another tangential argument you could make is: If the buttons were Yes and
No, would you reverse them? Make the most popular path the easiest to
follow. If you want people to hit Cancel if there is some risk in hitting
Ok, then you might run a study with Cancel/OK to make sure it doesn't
confuse anyone.

- Bryan
http://www.bryanminihan.com

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Juan
Ruiz
Sent: Monday, November 19, 2007 7:58 PM
To: Prasad Perera; IxDA Discuss
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] OK/Cancel [wrong heading - Jaiku ]

Prasad,

This has been a conversation that has been posted in the IxDA and SIGLIA
mailing lists many times, and it has come to this: "it depends". I am in
favor of the action button [ok] to be on the left, with the condition
that the form is a single page and the action will be carried out
immediately.

I would like to see if somebody has run usability tests or research to
define best practices for this argument.

-Juan

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Prasad Perera
Sent: Tuesday, 20 November 2007 11:25 AM
To: IxDA Discuss
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Jaiku

Hi All,

Has anyone done extensive user testing for placement of OK, CANCEL
buttons? Should OK be on left and CANCEL on right? I have seen many
theories to how it should be but didn't come across any results of an
actual user testing on this subject. If anyone has information about
this, please let me know.

Thanks
Prasad Perera
User Experience Architect
________________________________________________________________
*Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/

________________________________________________________________
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To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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20 Nov 2007 - 8:17am
Susie Robson
2004

I have not done extensive research but the standard has usually been:

If it's a PC, Ok is on the left, Cancel on the right
If it's a Mac, Cancel is on the left, OK is on the right

I believe that is how their style guides suggest it is done. And, since
most PC/Windows applications are done this way, it makes sense to be
consistent.

Susie

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Juan Ruiz
Sent: Monday, November 19, 2007 7:58 PM
To: Prasad Perera; IxDA Discuss
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] OK/Cancel [wrong heading - Jaiku ]

Prasad,

This has been a conversation that has been posted in the IxDA and SIGLIA
mailing lists many times, and it has come to this: "it depends". I am in
favor of the action button [ok] to be on the left, with the condition
that the form is a single page and the action will be carried out
immediately.

I would like to see if somebody has run usability tests or research to
define best practices for this argument.

-Juan

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Prasad Perera
Sent: Tuesday, 20 November 2007 11:25 AM
To: IxDA Discuss
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Jaiku

Hi All,

Has anyone done extensive user testing for placement of OK, CANCEL
buttons? Should OK be on left and CANCEL on right? I have seen many
theories to how it should be but didn't come across any results of an
actual user testing on this subject. If anyone has information about
this, please let me know.

Thanks
Prasad Perera
User Experience Architect
________________________________________________________________
*Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/

________________________________________________________________
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
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20 Nov 2007 - 8:56am
Adrian Howard
2005

On 20 Nov 2007, at 01:26, Bryan Minihan wrote:

> For performance reasons, we almost always settled on OK on the
> left, Cancel
> on the right in web forms. It sped up completion of the form (in
> tests) by
> being the first button you wind up on when you tab out of the last
> field
> (saves a tab), and was more obviously the button that would respond
> when you
> pressed "enter" on the keyboard within the form (this last is
> subjective,
> but someone mentioned it in a test, and it kind of makes sense).
[snip]

Interesting :-) We almost always settle on OK on the right since (in
tests) users made fewer errors with it this way round. This was with
a couple of different web apps. We didn't look at speed of completion
though.

I have to admit I wasn't expecting the result we got - because I
assumed most folk would be more used to the Windows conventions.

(as an aside the tab problem could be resolved by either using CSS/
HTML to render the buttons differently from their order in the
source, or by using tabindex to alter the tabbing order)

Cheers,

Adrian

20 Nov 2007 - 9:30am
bminihan
2007

That is interesting =]. Our testing was on internal corporate apps purely
with employees who may have been more accustomed to a certain convention.
Just goes to show that context and convention makes a difference.

Re: the tab-order thing, having OK on the left prevents the developer (who
may be an offshore Java developer w/ no Client development
experience/interest) having to learn (or remember to add) the right
CSS/HTML/JS to reverse the tab order. In corp offshore web development, the
less the developer has to remember, the better =]. Of course that shouldn't
really matter, but could and should are 2 diff things...

Bryan
http://www.bryanminihan.com

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Adrian
Howard
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 8:56 AM
To: IxDA Discuss
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] OK/Cancel [wrong heading - Jaiku ]

On 20 Nov 2007, at 01:26, Bryan Minihan wrote:

> For performance reasons, we almost always settled on OK on the
> left, Cancel
> on the right in web forms. It sped up completion of the form (in
> tests) by
> being the first button you wind up on when you tab out of the last
> field
> (saves a tab), and was more obviously the button that would respond
> when you
> pressed "enter" on the keyboard within the form (this last is
> subjective,
> but someone mentioned it in a test, and it kind of makes sense).
[snip]

Interesting :-) We almost always settle on OK on the right since (in
tests) users made fewer errors with it this way round. This was with
a couple of different web apps. We didn't look at speed of completion
though.

I have to admit I wasn't expecting the result we got - because I
assumed most folk would be more used to the Windows conventions.

(as an aside the tab problem could be resolved by either using CSS/
HTML to render the buttons differently from their order in the
source, or by using tabindex to alter the tabbing order)

Cheers,

Adrian

________________________________________________________________
*Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/

________________________________________________________________
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

20 Nov 2007 - 9:55am
Faith Peterson
2007

Luke W's article (linked to earlier in this thread) was good.

Given that placing the buttons at the bottom right of the form is the least
usable position, I wonder if the rule "OK on the left if buttons are left
align, OK on the right if right aligned" illuminates anything. Are things
placed rightmost more "primary" then things in a right-aligned group that
are not the rightmost item?
I'm not advocating this, just curious if anyone has analyzed button
placement for this difference.

Faith

> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> On Behalf Of Adrian Howard
> Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 8:56 AM
> To: IxDA Discuss
> On 20 Nov 2007, at 01:26, Bryan Minihan wrote:
>
> > ... we almost always settled on OK on the
> > left, Cancel
> > on the right in web forms.
>

> [snip]
>
> Interesting :-) We almost always settle on OK on the right since (in
> tests) users made fewer errors with it this way round.
>
[snip]
--
Faith Peterson
f.a.peterson at gmail.com

20 Nov 2007 - 2:59pm
zack Frazier
2007

There was a great presentation that addressed this question given by
Luke Wroblewski at this summer's "An Event Apart" in Chicago. "Best
Practices For Form Design" presents the analysis of eye tracking data
to conclude that these things do matter.

I posted the PDF handout for anyone interested. It's definitely worth
a look.

Zack

----
http://www.aneventapart.com/speakers/lukewroblewski/
http://clientsi.de/docs/uxd/Wroblewski - Best Practices For Form
Design.pdf

20 Nov 2007 - 8:29pm
Juan Ruiz
2007

Susie wrote
>I have not done extensive research but the standard has usually been:
>
>If it's a PC, Ok is on the left, Cancel on the right
>If it's a Mac, Cancel is on the left, OK is on the right

This assumption is correct if we are designing desktop applications.
But, what about online apps? We cannot determine what browser the
visitor is using, and then from it, decide the order of the buttons. How
about the millions of Google's users? Google displays the primary action
button (i.e. OK) on the left.

I think Luke W's article (posted on this thread previously) answers a
lot of our questions based on research and statistical data. Primary
button should be on the left, secondary button on the right. Buttons
should be left aligned.

-Juan

20 Nov 2007 - 10:04pm
Todd Warfel
2003

Except that that research didn't test one of the most common models
found in application design over the past couple decades: primary
button at the right, secondary at the left with buttons aligned to the
bottom right corner. Just about every other model available was tested
as shown in Luke's article, but this very common model was left out.

On Nov 20, 2007, at 8:29 PM, Juan Ruiz wrote:

> I think Luke W's article (posted on this thread previously) answers
> a lot of our questions based on research and statistical data.
> Primary button should be on the left, secondary button on the right.
> Buttons should be left aligned.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

21 Nov 2007 - 2:35pm
Susie Robson
2004

You are right. I should have said, based on your personas, you should
know which applications or browsers your users use and if they are
primarily Windows users, even on a web page, you should follow Windows
conventions. Of course, I'm speaking from a more corporate experience
than the users who may not work outside the home and just use the web,
not any applications.

One of my reasons is that Microsoft and Apple had done a lot of research
when writing the style guides for their desktop applications. Just
because we are now using the web, we shouldn't ignore their research.

But, just my opinion. I happen to be a consistency-freak. I'm also
really against having OK be a button while the Cancel is a text link.
Buttons are to perform actions--OK and Cancel are both actions.

Susie

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Juan Ruiz
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 8:30 PM
To: IxDA Discuss
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] OK/Cancel [wrong heading - Jaiku ]

Susie wrote
>I have not done extensive research but the standard has usually been:
>
>If it's a PC, Ok is on the left, Cancel on the right
>If it's a Mac, Cancel is on the left, OK is on the right

This assumption is correct if we are designing desktop applications.
But, what about online apps? We cannot determine what browser the
visitor is using, and then from it, decide the order of the buttons. How
about the millions of Google's users? Google displays the primary action
button (i.e. OK) on the left.

I think Luke W's article (posted on this thread previously) answers a
lot of our questions based on research and statistical data. Primary
button should be on the left, secondary button on the right. Buttons
should be left aligned.

-Juan

________________________________________________________________
*Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/

________________________________________________________________
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

22 Nov 2007 - 6:11am
Adrian Howard
2005

On 21 Nov 2007, at 19:35, Susie Robson wrote:

> You are right. I should have said, based on your personas, you should
> know which applications or browsers your users use and if they are
> primarily Windows users, even on a web page, you should follow Windows
> conventions.
[snip]

Even when (as they did for us) you get a higher error rate?

:-)

Adrian

22 Nov 2007 - 8:41am
Anonymous

For web forms, simply avoid cancel.

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