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67

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 ...


44

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 ...


26

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 ...


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. ...


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 ...


7

The first number in a machine oriented environment might be "0" but i suppose that it would actually be confusing for the people involved in the project – so you better stick to the "1" as the first (1st) number. Otherwise you will sooner or later have continues problems when talking on the phone about "the third version" which would then have the "2". And ...


7

Usually versions starting with 0 pre-production or beta/alpha versions. Once they are in a public (non beta) level of development, they usually start numbering from 1. So the very first development version would usually be something like v0.0.0 (with as many dots as you like), but v0.97.2 would still be pre production ready. V1.23.2 would be an early ...


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 ...


4

It sounds like your "down the road" wireframes are a bit too far along on the fidelity spectrum. In other words, they're too detailed if you feel much "pain" when the ground changes under your feed (which it often does, in your case as well as mine). Have you tried just using pen/marker/paper (lo-fi) for your longer term wireframes and saving Visio ...


4

I've built a lot of webapps and when this issue comes up I face one or more of the following issues: It takes more time to build. Sometimes you need to build a "Draft" model in addition to the normal model. It can be hard to make autosave discoverable; it's not super helpful to autosave for a user and have them just wonder how to save their changes. When ...


3

As you surely understand - this is a mine field you're stepping into with this question. But it's great fun and I'll do a reasonable try to answer this question. So lets start in the beginning, shall we?! Software versioning is the process of assigning either unique version names or unique version numbers to unique states of computer software. Within a ...


3

Version control is definitely the key as long as the presentation of the versions (timestamped) is clear to the end user. So the question is, how useful would it be to record every micro change as a document history? Well, that depends on whether the you are looking at changes within a session or outside of a session. So the presentation of history should ...


2

The best example I have is the built-in file versioning built into OS X Lion. The version tracking happens completely transparently as Nic mentioned in his answer, and they provide an interface based on their previous tool Time Machine for browsing historical versions: Image taken from Apple.com The most important thing about this solution though (that ...


2

The key to introducing version control into an interface is to make it as transparent as possible. I'd hide terms like "branching" and "merging" from the interface, as these terms aren't really important to the user - version control supports their task of making changes, so creating a transparent version control interfaces would be my top concern. Also, ...


2

Mac only has a 15% market share in USA. Of those 15%, only a small portion has OS X Lion, which is where auto-save was introduced. So there are a very few people that will be comfortable with auto-save. Regardless of whether auto-save is a good feature or not, it is not a popular feature. Most non-Lion users will find it strange. The ubiquity of a feature is ...


2

While the convention seems to be that main version numbers can start with 0. I don't think there ever is a 0.0 or 0.0.0 version. The leading 0 suggests development, i.e. "not yet a released version" - as compared to 1.xx and so forth, which show the main release number. You should definately start with 0.0.0.1 - any version you publish is already a ...


1

SemVer states this : How should I deal with revisions in the 0.y.z initial development phase? The simplest thing to do is start your initial development release at 0.1.0 and then increment the minor version for each subsequent release. I think that makes sense for end users (those that will download your app) because the average people are used to ...


1

Why isn't a hybrid system more common? i.e. Main doc is only saved on user saves but a parallel tree is maintained for unsaved edits. Even after program close if user forgets to save (or say program crashes etc.) the parallel tree always affords a chance to go back and recover. With storage so cheap, the cost of saving edits (especially incrementally) is ...


1

In my opinion, version control is a wonderful thing. It would be great to have a more end-user-accessible version-tree for the files you've saved. You know how Undo/Redo buttons only go one step forward and back? If you hit Undo, then change something, you can't get back to the original "Redo" -- it's a big flaw, and if you travel half-way down the ...


1

I usually make storyboards in PowerPoint and put them on a central file share. (Used to be Sharepoint, which I liked). This is a starting point for the developers. I usually work with them on the actual product and things shift and change from the original PowerPoint design. In the end, the PowerPoint only has a weak link to the real thing. It becomes ...



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