SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    3,530
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    When to use a Cancel Button?

    When should you add a "Cancel" button to a Form?

    What exactly is the purpose of having one?

    I mean a website won't close the web page if you hit "Cancel" - on non Pop-Up Forms - like in a real application, so what is the benefit of having such a button?

    Thanks,


    Debbie

  2. #2
    Mouse catcher silver trophy
    Stevie D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    5,830
    Mentioned
    110 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    In most cases, the 'Cancel' button is largely a placebo. It allows people to cancel a transaction or process and be sure that it has been stopped. Sometimes people like that reassurance that all their data isn't sitting in limbo, waiting for them to come back and finish the transaction. That's particularly important where you've put in details like credit card number or any other sensitive data, and if you want to continue using the site and maybe start a new transaction – you want to be absolutely sure that the process has been aborted, and the 'Cancel' button provides that reassurance.

  3. #3
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    10,233
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    They're also good when you need a reset button (though it should be called Reset).

    For example, at a vehicle insurance site I wanted to see quotes for different things: a brand new scooter, one a few years old and a rusted beater, for two different drivers (so different postal codes, different damage-free years).

    Unfortunately the site did not have a Reset button, and it stubbornly kept license plate info of the first vehicle (which was greyed out and unchangeable, as well as related buttons who don't get filled in if a license plate number is). I ended up opening another browser to look up the others. I also could have cleared my browser cache, but was in the middle of something on Github and did not want to clear my cache right then.

    Sometimes one computer may be inputting for multiple people, so while you usually want to preserve inputted data when users go back to a form or hit the back button, if it really is a whole new user then offer a manual method of clearing that data if that makes sense for the form.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member FrodoBugs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Usually the purpose of cancel button on websites takesplace as to change in decision. When people suddenly change their mind about that particular thing. It can be an application form, any transaction etc. You can use alternative words too.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Brussels
    Posts
    377
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "abort" sounds better.

    Or "kill" or "destroy", for some nice applications instead of "delete".

    Or change just one letter: "cancer", would someone notice?

  6. #6
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    10,233
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    People don't like scary buttons.

    Usually the purpose of cancel button on websites takesplace as to change in decision. When people suddenly change their mind about that particular thing. It can be an application form, any transaction etc. You can use alternative words too.
    This is usually what they're for, but usually begs the question: do users prefer a button that does this, rather than just leaving the site or closing the application? Like, if I'm halfway through ordering something, if I decide I don't really want to buy that thing, I just leave. If it's somewhere I'm logged in, I log out first, then leave. But I may be unusual.

  7. #7
    Mouse catcher silver trophy
    Stevie D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    5,830
    Mentioned
    110 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    This is usually what they're for, but usually begs the question: do users prefer a button that does this, rather than just leaving the site or closing the application? Like, if I'm halfway through ordering something, if I decide I don't really want to buy that thing, I just leave. If it's somewhere I'm logged in, I log out first, then leave. But I may be unusual.
    You have to remember that a lot of people aren't as technically literate as you, and in particular don't understand the process of online transactions as well. I know of people who think that once you have started to buy something, you are committed to the purchase unless you cancel, and that the website could then send you a bill for unpaid charges if you just abort and close the website down mid way through the process. Sure, people like that are in the minority, but it doesn't hurt to cater for them as well. At least, as long as you don't make it too easy for people to inadvertently click Cancel and lose everything by mistake!

  8. #8
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    10,233
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    SteveD: good advice, that's exactly what I was wondering. I assumed it might be the other way around: that people think closing the window, tab or browser may cancel everything (even though actually it may not log you out, which explains the warnings you sometimes see on computers in Internet cafés ).


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •