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66

In Marketo, the app auto-saves everything. We have very few "Save" actions. However, interesting side-effect. In the email editor, some users were so panicked that there was no "Save and close" button, that we added one. It's already saved so the button only closes the window, but it made the complaints go away. We have generous feedback saying the ...


48

On clicking the save button in almost any application for the first time, you are asked where to save the file. If your application does not do this, it would be understandable that people are unsure as to whether it has worked or not. My advice would be to grey out the icon and replace the icon with a spinner while the save operation is taking place. Even ...


42

Although the technical objections are largely obsolete, I think there is still a UX-based objection to auto-save. Other answers have alluded to the relationship between versioning and auto-save. @sova talks about them as alternatives, but I believe they are essential complements. Without versioning (or at least persistent, traditional undo), auto-save has ...


39

It's partly historical - when saving meant sending data back to the server it was an expensive operation, and when it meant overwriting what you already had without the chance to roll back it needed to be under the user's control. However, now with either data saved locally or with high bandwidth connections there isn't the overhead in saving. Version ...


25

I have two problems with auto-saving. First, inadvertent editing (mistakes): If a user brings up a document for viewing and makes a mistake, the auto-save would overwrite the good copy with the invalid data, and require the user to take additional actions to undo the mistake. We have a data entry system that was designed with auto-save, and I can't ...


25

As you've stated, it's important that the user is provided with feedback about the success / failure of the save operation. One way that some business applications achieve this is by disabling the save button when the most recent version of a file has been safely saved to disk. User clicks save. File is saved. Button is dimmed / non-clickable -> this ...


21

To "star" something is a very abstract concept hardly familiar outside Gmail. While people save things for later all the time, they hardly ever "star" something. While the star as an icon is fine, it doesn't translate well to a verb or action. Marking things for later reference is commonly offered through either "bookmarks" or "favorites". Here, favorite is ...


18

Google does this quite a bit actually. They have auto-save functionality in Google Docs, Gmail, and Blogger. In each case the app automatically saves your content and provides a little note somewhere that says something like, "Your draft was saved at 3:04 PM." But they also have a "Save" button. I liked their approach so much that I copied it almost ...


16

Alan Cooper and friends have a lot to say about always saving, always allowing undo when applicable/possible. If you haven't read it already, you should definitely check out About Face. The first thing to say when considering the best user interaction scenario is that software should always auto-save. Even here on SE my draft is auto saving as I type. ...


16

Why would you want something more contemporary which users don't understand? What are you improving about their experience by doing this? Don't use something different just to be cool or clever. All you would be doing is illustrating that good graphic design is not the same as good UX design.


16

Even though [cancel] would not actually clear or cancel any concrete data, in the user's mind it confirms, that none of the values he changed in the dialog will be saved/applied. The [x] should generally always be there, it works as some sort of "way out" for the user, it gives the option to skip the choice and intuitively get out of the situation (for ...


15

I think the word "Save" is in the same category as the floppy disk icon itself. I don't think your analogy of comparing "Save" to "Post your Question/Answer" here on Stack Exchange is valid, "Post" means "Publish to the website", whereas "Save" would mean "keep a copy until I'm read to publish". In fact this is probably the meaning most people have in mind ...


15

Depends on how you are approaching the concept. I can call it a WATCHLIST. What exactly do you want the user to do. Create a list of jobs so that they can visit again and check them. Yes it works same as a favorite but the term doesn't suits the purpose of job searching. A person cannot have a favorite job post. I will rather have 2 options for the user. ...


14

If the button is merely disabled, users will Think the application is broken, Not immediately realize which fields are unfilled and Not realize the fields are unfilled until the very end, which is annoying So, I'd suggest telling your colleagues exactly what you told us, which is that allowing them to submit then find errors might be more efficient ...


13

The save button has become the Skinner Box button for a great deal of people thanks to terrible, terrible software that never autosaved people's work for a good 20 years of popular software. I don't like to keep training people to hit that button, but there's nothing more aggravating than finding your app didn't just save what you did. I found Google Doc's ...


12

Well, since you're new to UX, you should probably learn one thing first and that is that IT DEPENDS :) If it's something I'm going to use a lot and you can automate it for me: yes please. I might feel smart the first time I set up a wi-fi connection, and it might make me feel in control of what my computer does for me, but it's going to be a major pain in ...


11

Every one talks about it from a document point of view. Your question states "should everyone start adopting the convention of auto-saving?" I have to agree with others that if you don't offer versionning, it's useless. To me, being a photographer, autosave alone would be the worst feature to have ever existed. We sometime spend hours "destroying" a ...


11

Here's what is rapidly becoming the new replacement save icon: That's assuming it's needed at all of course. For example, it's used by Google Docs here - although they've added text as well in this case:


11

You pretty much want to go for one or the other extreme, where the extremes are: Explicit Save for Everything. Everything needs saving through an explicit command. Autosave Everything. Everything is saved automatically and instantly. You want the user to have as simple a mental model of the system’s behavior as possible. You don’t want to burden the ...


9

In an app I created some 10 years ago, disabling is the approach I took. Each form has a Save, Cancel and Close button. Save and Cancel are both disabled until changes have been made. Close is always available and will prompt to save or cancel when changes were made. At the time I thought it was the right way to do things. Now, every time I open an edit ...


8

If the submit button is disabled, you definitely have to tell the user why this is so. So why not display a short message telling the cause for the disabled button when this is the case? This short message could be shown under the form - maybe in red or highlighted in another way. And then this approach provides the better user experience in my opinion. ...


8

You need to be consistent. Changing what people expect from your application confusing and not a good idea. If you are saving automatically in one section, why not do it in all of them? If there is a good reason to have the save button(s), then why not have them on all the settings pages? Many applications break up settings pages to logical groupings ...


8

To save a file is not drastic or dramatic, and it never was. It does not suggest that the work is about to be lost. To think this is to confuse two different non-technical meanings of the word save. To save can mean to redeem or rescue, but this is not what it means in everyday computing. Save also means to keep, to hold on to, to retain. When you save ...


8

There's a good reason why this is uncommon (I'd say non-existant): Consider this: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups What happens when you press 2? Do you get 2? Or do you get 12? The obvious answer is that you get 2, because the affordance of a button or a menu item is an individual action trigger. Here's ...


8

I would argue no - this triggers alarm bells as to: 'what have I actually done?' and is not common practices with most software products. However Excel is a bit of a weird fish when it comes to this - it could be dependant upon the macros within the sheet, here is an interesting thread discussing the same issue. ...


7

I don't think this has been mentioned by anybody, but one instance when you must NOT implement the Auto-Save functionality is when you're working with files opened from a USB memory stick. Although not widely known, but USB drives have a very limited amount of read-write cycles, sometimes as low as 3000-5000 (see Wikipedia: USB flash drive)). If your ...


7

Let me get this straight. On close the password is changed if the two field don't produce an error, otherwise the dialog remains open. Effectively the user has no choice but to change the password? As long as the passwords don't match, the X doesn't do anything? So if he wants to close the dialog, the only way to enable the X is by changing the ...


7

One example of such an application is IntelliJ IDEA (and some other programming environments). In addition to the usual project-specific external revision control, IDEA has a user-specific local history which saves a revision of every file on every save (the history is stored inside the user's home directory). The old revisions are stored by default for 3 ...


7

Redundancy isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes, having multiple ways of accomplishing the same task helps accommodate users who are used to different patterns. In this case, the candidate for redundancy removal is [X] not Cancel because your modal dialog is an editable form, which has a Save button already so the counter-action has to be next to it (as ...


7

But it's not a Save action though, is it? The feature you describe sounds very much like the conventional Favorite feature. The user marks an item of interest to have it easily accessible at a later point. The item is still accessible even if the user doesn't mark it, but then the user has to manually look it up again. This does not sound anything like a ...



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