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I am working on a SAAS project where users create widgets to their websites. One of their abilities is to create a messaging template and apply it to their widgets.

When saving a template, the user can name the template and apply it to one or several of their widgets.

Now the problem I am facing is how to save and apply the template.

Option 1: Single button "Save & Apply" which opens a modal where the user types in the name of the template and a drop down of his widgets to apply

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Option 2:

Two buttons - Save Draft and apply

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Each one of the buttons will open a modal:

Save draft - The user will name his template and it will be saved without being applied to the widgets

Apply - The user will apply the template he is currently working on to a single or several widgets.

Which way is most correct?

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Definitely option 2.

'Apply' and 'Save Draft' has very different meaning in plain English. In this case, they make people feel that they are totally separate operations, which is perfect in this situation. Some extra stuff: I would not want to do the name input and select widget AFTER I click on either of the buttons. I would rather prefer to input these information in the very beginning of the template building. According to my experience on doing complicated tasks, make ux writing more appealing saves more effort than working on complicated interactions.

Just some personal thoughts, if there is anything that is miss-leading please let me know.

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I assume that it is required to save the template with a name before it can be used in widgets. So saving is a required step and choosing a widget is optional. Your first option seems the most logical in this case. It's just a next step where you choose the name of the template (required field) and optionally choose the widget(s) to use it in. But the label ("Save & apply") is not clear. The button is not saving or applying anything yet. It just goes to the next step. So I would change the label to "Next" and add step indicators (eg. config > finish) to give the user a sense of the progress.

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