I have a question about the UX solution for saving and publishing a new version on the platform.

What is it about?

  • I created a new document and it becomes the "latest" version.
  • I can edit that latest version.
  • There are 2 buttons "save (activated)" and "publish (deactivated)"
  • Once I save it, I can publish it

  • I decided to "save" it so it becomes the "draft" version

  • I sign out from the platform and later on, I sign in to make more changes on that "draft" version.
  • I can again save the changes but I can also publish the latest saved version
  • I decided to publish.
  • Modal opens with the message "If you publish it, all unsaved changes will be discarded" because I previously did not save my newest changes.
  • There is new "save and publish" button in the modal and the "cancel" button
  • I pressed "save and published" and it becomes the new "latest" version


  • One solution is to activate button "save" when something is changed and to activate the "publish" button when it is saved. You can not publish it if it is not saved.

  • The second solution is to allow to "publish" the latest edited version. It does not need to be saved.

  • Do I really need two buttons "save" and "publish" when editing? What do you think about automatically saving the edits, and "publish" it once I am happy?

  • Or maybe there is some better solution?


1 Answer 1


In my opinion you'd need the following buttons:

  • Cancel / abort changes / Exit - if the user decides to abandon changes for any reason ("Are you sure" dialog is useful with options "Yes and abandon", "No, go back to editing", "Yes, but save as draft")
  • Save draft - one of the purpose of draft - you save it now and perhaps improve/add on it later and finally publish
  • Publish - automatically saves before publishing - if the user decides to publish, they should not be requested to save it beforehand (via message dialog or whatsoever). Probably some "Are you sure" question can be asked.

Think about the following:

  • there are in fact 3 possibilities for the user when updating the document - stop and revert, save for later, publish immediately (the buttons mentioned above)
  • the less clicks the faster the operation is finished, hence less decision making is required "on the go" (in other words - less "annoying" questions asked)
  • place the buttons in order of their popularity (most frequent action)
  • Mike. Thanks for the answer. For now, API does not allow me to discard changes so I can just leave the draft and change it on the way. I have only option to save it and publish. I am thinking if saving can be automatically when you change something so the only CTA button will be "publish"?
    – StemaxSD
    Mar 5, 2018 at 15:05
  • You mean like autosaving on every keypress? That would be an overkill. Have a look at gmail, there autosave exists next to the possibility of saving it upon user request. And if it comes to discarding changes - what about simple browser "history back" with a dialog "Leave or stay on the page" (like in StackExchange when you want to leave the page while editing), thus a client-side solution?
    – Mike
    Mar 5, 2018 at 15:11

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