I'm in a bit of a verbiage bind. I have a form for a request cancellation. I cannot change the wording on that. The word cancel HAS to be used.

The button bellow sits in the footer of a card. Unfortunately, I cannot show you the rest of the card for context.

enter image description here

enter image description here

Clicking that button brings up the above form in the footer of the card.

The pattern shown here (form input on one line, followed by a cancel and submit button with the below styles and ordering) is used across the application. This is another non negotiable. Clicking that cancel button collapses the form back into the original button ("Cancel Request").

As you can probably tell as this point, I have a Cancel-Cancel-Conundrum. I need a better word than cancel for that form button, but I'm having trouble thinking of something. I was thinking something along the lines of "Exit" but that feels a little weird.

enter image description here

  • I'd try to be explicit like "I don't want to cancel request"
    – doodoroma
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 17:40
  • 1
    Related: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/35753/…
    – user68158
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 6:56
  • Levano's link pretty much targets the same issue.
    – mrchaarlie
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 14:44
  • Say I have created a request, then I click "Cancel Request", then I click "Cancel", what happens ? Do I get back to the request I initially created ? In that case, I would use "Back" iso "Cancel" and "Cancel Request" iso "Submit", change the colour to indicate that "Cancel Request" is destructive (red) and Back is safe (blue) -> Think flow, "back" also conveys a feeling of "back to safety" ...
    – thecarpy
    Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 6:55

3 Answers 3


Submit is good, it might help to add what you're submitting, so you can repeat it in the "cancel the cancelation" button:

Submit request

Now that you have a good primary action, think about other ways of saying cancel. Think about what is happening to the request. I came up with these, I'm sure this approach could be used with different sets of words:

Abort / abandon / discard request

It might be worth spelling out "cancelation request" completely, for maximum clarity. It might be too verbose for a button - but would still be useful as additional info, like a tooltip.


It has to be kept CLEAR and SIMPLE

The labels can be called, crisply as answered, Don't Cancel. And not canceling can be shown as a win for the company by a thumbs-up to add to the experience.


Don't cancel, I have changed my mind.

And complimenting the same,

Yes, Go Ahead and submit my request.

Think what Users Think while deciphering the flow in the form. The visual example has been created for you below.

Thumbs-Up is successfully changing the mind of user

enter image description here


First of all, I don't see how you are obliged to use the word "cancellation", as any wording displayed in your product should always be written from a user's perspective. The last thing you want is someone to perform the opposite of their intended behaviour because of jargon, for example.

Either way, I would argue that "Submit" is too vague here. Buttons should be concise, clear and direct. Now, users will first have to verify what they are submitting. That being said, better would be to show something like "Disband Request" or "Discard Request".

Furthermore, I would discourage using "Cancel" in a situation like this, because this wording is very often associated with safely escaping an action and not the opposite; destructive actions.

I would suggest the following:

Do you want to disband your request?

No, keep request | Yes, disband request

The colouring of these buttons is also something you should consider. I would always use red for any destructive actions, as opposed to the blue colour you are using now.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.