Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Duelling “Cancel” buttons on my iPhone

I’ve recently noticed an example of duelling “Cancel” buttons in iOS 8 on my iPhone. Have a look the following screen captures to see how it plays out.

Screen 1 shows the Photos app on my iPhone, showing a photo of a steam locomotive. If I want to make some changes to the photo, I can tap the “Edit” button in the upper right corner to edit the photo.

Screen 1, showing a photo in Photos app
Screen 1.

In Screen 2, I’ve decided to crop the image, which is easy to do.

Screen 2, showing edit mode on a photo in Photos app
Screen 2.

Maybe this photo doesn’t need to be cropped after all. In Screen 3 I can tap “Cancel” in the bottom left corner.

Screen 3, showing cropped photo with changes made
Screen 3.

The App designers don’t want me to inadvertently lose any work that I’ve done. In Screen 4 the app presents a confirmation, with “Discard Changes” and “Cancel” as the options. Why yes! I do want to cancel!

Screen 4, showing badly worded confirmation button labels
Screen 4.

Of course, the meaning “Cancel” has changed! Initially it meant “I don’t want to make these changes!”. Now it means “I do want to make these changes!” which is obviously a little confusing, as tapping cancel will leave me on the same editing screen that I actually want to leave.

A better pair of labels might be “Cancel, and discard changes” and “Continue editing”. There are probably plenty of others.

You don’t often see this kind of unclearly worded confirmation these days!

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