I am currently working on a standard for confirming destructive actions, which I have to split into four levels:

  1. no confirmation necessary
  2. ???
  3. a simple dialog that explains what the dangers are
  4. a dialog that explains the dangers and requires an unusual action to confirm.

Now, level 2 should be more intrusive than level 1, but less than level 3 and it needs to work with touch as well as with mouse and keyboard.

I already implemented an undo function, that's why level 1 exists at all, but my supervisor wants something even more secure.

What are some good patterns to do this?

  • Double click is annoying and will lead to spam clicking
  • Long press takes too long and is unconventional on desktop
  • Having a flyout is a middle ground, as it doesn't excel or suck at any specific thing
  • Can you explain why you need 4 levels? Following KISS, there should only be (1) and (3) (plus undo, of course, for both). I especially don't understand the (need for the) difference between (3) and (4)? Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 17:23
  • Maybe, "show a toast message at top right corner that automatically disappears after some time"?
    – Ajeet Shah
    Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 17:56
  • @virtualnobi 1 & 3 are for KISS, 2 is for my supervisor, and 4 is for extremely critical stuff like deleting accounts.
    – Ubus99
    Commented Jan 17, 2022 at 7:10

3 Answers 3


In my application, I didn't want users to be likely to accidentally delete things, but I also didn't want it to be too much effort to delete as it's easy to undelete.

I settled on a dropdown button:

delete button in red, confirm delete underneath in dropdown

  • It works using any input method: mouse, fat fingered phone taps, keyboard, screen reader.
  • While I can't think of any applications that specifically have a delete button like this, it's obvious what needs to be done to actually delete something. Dropdown buttons in general are common across devices and operating systems.
  • While you can accidentally delete something, it's less likely to happen because you need more than a single click/tap/etc. In fact, it's even not a proper double click because you have to move your mouse to confirm the delete, even if it's a very short distance.
  • It was extremely easy to do in the library I'm using.

In Adobe programs, a window appears with information about the change that is about to be made with two buttons and a checkbox:

  • OK to continue with the action
  • Cancel to go back and abort the action
  • Don't show again to avoid repetitive alerts when the user is already sure of the consequences

enter image description here

  • that would be a Level 3, i am searching for something less intrusive
    – Ubus99
    Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 14:56
  • Level 3 is a danger alert, this is just info and the user can decide to see it again or not.
    – Danielillo
    Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 14:57
  • maybe i wasn't specific enough, but what i wanted to describe as level 3 in my original question is exactly like the image you shared. that is too disruptive to user flow, i only want to prevent slips on Level 2, not mistakes.
    – Ubus99
    Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 15:01

You could make the user drag something to a trash on desktop, or swipe left on mobile. Both are understood deletion gestures for their devices, and are less intrusive than a dialog.

You could also put the Delete function in a dropdown menu, which will make the user have to pull down the menu and then click on the Delete action.

  • the first two ideas are out, since the same interaction must be used for both, but i am going to try the last one right now.
    – Ubus99
    Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 15:16

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.