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We are developing an web app. Users can log-in and change their settings. We are in process of making settings page and we are wondering if Autosave option is good idea.

For example: User edits his nickname, when he focus out of text field data is saved without clicking any save button or anything similar.

Should we display loading icon or something like that?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Autosave option is very good, and Microsoft have been using it for years on OneNote.

When the user unfocus the field you could show a small icon for a few seconds, making it absolutely clear that the data is saved! enter image description here

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Really small icon! :) –  alexeypegov Feb 18 '13 at 14:06
    
@alexeypegov Made the icon much smaller :-) –  Benny Skogberg MCSA Feb 18 '13 at 14:14
    
And it would be good to differentiate the autosave from regular saves. Meaning - user should still be able to open the version he/she had saved manually recently. Of course you can also go for versions, so that user could go back in time as much as he/she wants. Anyway, it mostly depends on the app, maybe in this case versioning is not important. What comes across my mind is some simple user data fields manipulation, but should there be more (like descriptive info etc.) versioning may be a good idea. –  Dominik Oslizlo Feb 18 '13 at 14:24

All well and good in theory, but what if the user makes a change then wants to revert back to the details previously held in the field, is there a revert option? Is there an option to turn off autosave?

If the data field contains a large amount of data say notes, and I click in the field and knock a key on the keyboard, this removes all that data and has autosaved before I can do anything about it.

What you don't want is the following scenario:

Where is my data? How do I get it back? Why has it done this? I's so stupid! I hate this system!

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In our case we don't deal with large amount of data, but only with simple input boxes like "name, email...". It seems like another answer is all what we wanted. On the other side I agree with you. –  Meznaric Feb 19 '13 at 8:39
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Agh, asking a question whilst wanting a specific answer will skew you ability to judge the answers. I would suggest some A/B user testing to see what the outcome is whilst gathering some qualitative data. –  Andrew Scott Feb 19 '13 at 9:16

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