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In a desktop application, I have a form which the user can edit some data, then save it. When they save, they stay on the same page and get the feedback message like "Campaign saved". And to leave the page and go back to the previous listing, they could either use the browser's back button, or hit "Cancel". Problem I see with Cancel is that I find it dissonant to click "Cancel" right after you hit save and even saw a success message. Like... I just saved it, why would I cancel it right after?

Thoughts? Like use Save / Return buttons? Or is it me overthinking?

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    Master-detail sort of. Edit a record goes into an "enter mode" and saving goes IMO back to master list.
    – sibert
    Nov 10, 2023 at 6:20
  • To avoid the dissonance mentioned of using "cancel" as a formal back button, I'm currently using this approach you said. Save = goes back to master list. It solves the problem, and still makes sense from the point that if I saved it, I'm done with it.
    – feelerino
    Nov 10, 2023 at 12:35
  • Is this a modal or a page? If it is a modal, then "close" is a better label instead of cancel. If it is a page, then a link (not a button) labelled "return to [title of the previous page]" is a better option.
    – jazZRo
    Nov 14, 2023 at 11:17

3 Answers 3

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As I understand you want to keep your logic as it is - keep form open even after submitting. To solve your problem, I'd highly recommend you to change the word "cancel" to "close", as it wouldn't scare the user away from thinking that it might unsubmit user's form. There is an interesting article regarding cancel vs. close here. It is trying to solve a little different problem, but gives more sense as to when to use close and when cancel.

If you're interested, there are a couple of recommendations regarding to on how to make UX better if you will keep the form open after submit.

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  • That might work, I'll see with the rest of the team what they think of it comparing to the current solution. If staying on the edit page is really a must, the Close-like button can feel more in place. Thank you for the references!
    – feelerino
    Nov 10, 2023 at 12:40
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I think once you hit "save", it can change to a "Saved" button with a checkmark next to it or some kind of feedback that the item is saved. Then, change "cancel" to "Go Back" to avoid any kind of confusion. This lets the user know their changes were saved, and that going back won't discard any changes they made. enter image description here

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I think you can delete the 'cancel' button since the user still stays on that page after clicking the 'save' button. You can check on the 'edit profile' page from dribbble.

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  • You mean that "save" should also return to the page? Can you elaborate why you advise that?
    – jazZRo
    Nov 14, 2023 at 11:15

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