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My English is not very good. I just wanna ask, what would be the right success message? In my case, when the the user deleted a record, I'm thinking of what to display with these options:

  • Record has been successfully deleted
  • Record has been deleted
  • Record was successfully deleted
  • Record was deleted

Any suggestions or other ideas?

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3  
The correct response is BALEETED!. –  zzzzBov Sep 21 '11 at 16:45
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7 Answers

up vote 27 down vote accepted

In many cases the best message is no message ;)

Is there the expectation of success? In these cases the only time a user wants to see a message is when something's gone wrong. Take file deletion in Windows. After the "Are you sure?" question has been answered there's no further message unless the file couldn't be deleted for some reason.

Is there any other feedback that the record has been deleted? Taking Windows as an example again, the user can see that the file has been deleted as it no longer appears in the file explorer.

Does the delete operation take a long time? If you're deleting something from a remote database there may be some time from when the delete request is issued and when the delete actually occurs. There's also a disconnection from the action and the result as the delete is asynchronous. In this case you probably do want a message.

As to what that message should be, any of the ones you list are OK. However, you might want to drop the "successfully" as that raises the possibility of failure in the user's mind. The simple:

The [record] was deleted.

where [record] is the name of what you are deleting is probably all you need.

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8  
Just don't forget the period. –  Bart Gijssens Sep 21 '11 at 14:40
5  
If the record deleted has a name or any other useful identifier, it would probably be better to say "[name of record] was deleted." rather than leaving it ambiguous. This way, if the user deleted the wrong thing, they will know immediately rather than discovering it under bad circumstances later. –  75th Trombone Sep 23 '11 at 5:16
    
@75thTrombone - good point. I've updated the answer to reflect that. –  ChrisF Sep 23 '11 at 7:38
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I think its better to display confirmation message before deletion "Are you sure? or you want to delete xyz product?". Only display error message if something went wrong.

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Assuming you need to have the message at all (which you very well may not), I'd suggest one further clarification ... Instead of "Product removed" (or deleted), include an identifier for which product -- e.g. "Product 'xyz' removed."

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It really depends on the situation. If the user is viewing their basket, they click remove and the item visibly disappears then no message would be required.

However if the user is in a CMS system with hundreds of records a message such as 'Product removed' would be best.

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I agree that no message would probably be the best way to communicate success. What is the right success message?

Perhaps what you need is not a message but a hint that some thing has happened. For instance when I click on the text box to start typing this answer the border changed colour. That was enough to let me know that I was successful in selecting the text entry box. Similar hints which are unobstructive and don't take my focus away from the task I am trying to do.

If you want to show that some thing was deleted, having a record count in a corner some where the animates as it decrease its count could be enough to let a user know that some thing was successful. Or more simply, having the item highlighted and change colour when you delete it could be enough. You just need to have some feed back that does not require the user to turn the focus away from what they were doing. It also should not be flashy and distracting.

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The word "successfully" means that there is an opposite situation and this situation happens very often and it was the Lucky case when it was done successfully: it was a lucky day for both of us (user and application). :)

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Is record the word the user understands? It sounds a bit database related - is it really speaking to the user in the language they understand - the 'user model'?

If so Record deleted successfully is good.

If not - replace the word record by the 'thing' the user understands.

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Ah yes, the 'Record' refers to a product. so i'll have 'Product deleted successfully' –  Mico Sep 21 '11 at 14:03
4  
I suppose the next thing is: - is delete the right word? Or is it simply being removed - like being removed from a basket at checkout? –  Roger Attrill Sep 21 '11 at 14:08
    
"Record deleted successfully" -> I really don't like messages like these. It's not a full sentence. A good sentence at least contains a subject and a verb. I prefer "The record was deleted successfully". If you want to get rid of redundancy, go for "The record was deleted". –  Bart Gijssens Sep 21 '11 at 14:13
1  
Be careful, user32572. As Roger points out, "delete" and "remove" mean different things. Delete is destructive, remove is not. –  gef05 Sep 21 '11 at 15:16
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