I'm deciding how to handle deleting and editing messages in a web chat app. For now, I can think of a few things I need feedback on.

  1. Deleting/Editing should have a time limit - maybe like SE, 5 minutes. Enough time for the user to realize a mistake, not enough to abuse it. I'm already kind of set on this, but feedback is always welcome.
  2. Delete the message, or 'hide' it, but still have it stored in the database? This may be more of a 'popular' site issue, this is just a little project I'm working on.
  3. I already want to keep an edit history, but should it be publicly available (like in facebook)? Or visible just to the message owner?
  4. Should there be a undo button - how to display it?

If you have any other ideas what I should look out for, please tell. This is my first time designing something that needs natural user interaction. :)

  • What's the chat app for? Sounds like you're still settling on the feature definition. Design suggestions could depend on the purpose.
    – Luke Smith
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 16:30
  • @LukeSmith It's a school project, it has no purpose. But, I'm taking the approach of doing something right the first time, so I can reuse this strategy later. But If you want to know, my inspiration was Discord, which IMO got most of their design decisions right.
    – niraami
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


For editing operation: I'd prefer to add some time limit but I will inform user about it.

For deleting: I will keep it open for OP.

Audit trail must be visible to users and if it is community site then admin and user must have the rights, check how SO works.

Undo button: It is similar to editing feature.

Again, it is more about your end users. Test with them.

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