Sunday, 26 May 2013

Deleting interactions on websites

I have been thinking about how best to deal with users deleting information in systems. In our latest CMS we added a feature in which the user's had to type "delete" in a confirmation box to make sure they were certain that was the action they wanted to take.
Thinking upon it now, I'm not sure that's what we need. Certainly almost as many users seem to delete resources. I'm not sure they understand what will happen and they're either ignorant, don't care or they're just curious. I wonder whether we should give people that horrible delete warning at all.

STOP YOU IDIOT. YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING OR WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT.

Why not offer no confirm at all. Just do something. Then let them visibly see what's happened. If you are deleting something, remove it. That's the best feedback. Then let the user obviously undo it straight away. That will give them confidence in the system that they are the boss not the system. Sometimes it's as if they're confronted with an infinitely complex wall of twizzlers and machinery. If they press a button something bad will happen. Why not let them play with the twizzlers!

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