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I have 3 buttons on a form, which is filled by system but the user (admin) can edit any fields if he wants.

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  • Save: Will save the data without giving any alert (client wants to avoid alert popups)
  • Reset: Reset values if has done any editing work on the screen.
  • Cancel: If pressed, show popup with message "There is some unsaved data, would you like to save it?" Save | Cancel

But the client's thought is: don't save the data or don't ask him to do so. As he thinks user will always hit the button if he explicitly wants to cancel so we don't need to save it, as it might update the correct record in system.

What would be your take on this?

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Small note: I think the button order is a bit odd. Usually, the control ending a sequence is expected in the lower right corner, not the lower left. –  André Mar 28 '12 at 14:23
    
Slightly off topic, but I would strongly question the necessity of a "Reset" button, unless you've routinely got users needing to do that. In general it just provides a path to failure and frustration. –  Alex Feinman Jul 19 '13 at 12:30
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1 Answer

In your current setup, you are really confusing your users I think. What does it mean to cancel the cancel action? That is quite hard to grasp.

The first question you'd have to ask yourself is whether you could get rid of the popup completely. Why do you want to show a popup here at all? Is it to prevent data loss for the user? If so, then you'd also need it on the Reset action, right?

I think I would rename the Cancel action to Discard. That makes it clear that you drop whatever is on the form and return to the state before opening the form. A Cancel action should be a safe action to do, I think, but your use of Cancel isn't safe at all.

Last, I think I would drop the Reset button. The difference with Discard isn't big, and I doubt it will be used much. I can't remember the last time I actually saw a button like that on a form. I think you will create less confusion by just offering two actions: Save and Discard.

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Discard has more intuitive relation to remove/delete rather than cancel/don't change. –  AndroidHustle Mar 28 '12 at 10:22
    
@Andre, Thanks i think Discard can solve the problem with ease. On reset button i want user to reset his changes but keep on the same page. But cancel will direct him to next/prev page. –  Hem Mar 28 '12 at 10:35
    
+1 for Discard. –  Phil Mar 28 '12 at 13:34
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"But cancel will direct him to next/prev page". Don't make me guess that. I (should) know that I'm in a sequential process, so label the button "Prev" or "Next" (perhaps "Skip") according to what it will do. –  MSalters Mar 29 '12 at 14:29
    
@MSalters, i meant it depend on the flow and business logic –  Hem Mar 30 '12 at 6:28
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