I have 3 buttons on a form, which is filled by system but the user (admin) can edit any fields if he wants.


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

  • Save: Will save the data without giving any alert (client wants to avoid alert popups)
  • Reset: Reset values if has done any editing work on the screen.
  • Cancel: If pressed, show popup with message "There is some unsaved data, would you like to save it?" Save | Cancel

But the client's thought is: don't save the data or don't ask him to do so. As he thinks user will always hit the button if he explicitly wants to cancel so we don't need to save it, as it might update the correct record in system.

What would be your take on this?

  • 3
    Small note: I think the button order is a bit odd. Usually, the control ending a sequence is expected in the lower right corner, not the lower left.
    – André
    Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 14:23
  • Slightly off topic, but I would strongly question the necessity of a "Reset" button, unless you've routinely got users needing to do that. In general it just provides a path to failure and frustration. Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 12:30

1 Answer 1


In your current setup, you are really confusing your users I think. What does it mean to cancel the cancel action? That is quite hard to grasp.

The first question you'd have to ask yourself is whether you could get rid of the popup completely. Why do you want to show a popup here at all? Is it to prevent data loss for the user? If so, then you'd also need it on the Reset action, right?

I think I would rename the Cancel action to Discard. That makes it clear that you drop whatever is on the form and return to the state before opening the form. A Cancel action should be a safe action to do, I think, but your use of Cancel isn't safe at all.

Last, I think I would drop the Reset button. The difference with Discard isn't big, and I doubt it will be used much. I can't remember the last time I actually saw a button like that on a form. I think you will create less confusion by just offering two actions: Save and Discard.

  • 1
    Discard has more intuitive relation to remove/delete rather than cancel/don't change. Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 10:22
  • @Andre, Thanks i think Discard can solve the problem with ease. On reset button i want user to reset his changes but keep on the same page. But cancel will direct him to next/prev page.
    – UXbychoice
    Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 10:35
  • 1
    "But cancel will direct him to next/prev page". Don't make me guess that. I (should) know that I'm in a sequential process, so label the button "Prev" or "Next" (perhaps "Skip") according to what it will do.
    – MSalters
    Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 14:29
  • @MSalters, i meant it depend on the flow and business logic
    – UXbychoice
    Commented Mar 30, 2012 at 6:28
  • @Hem Don't be afraid of 1-2 words more on the button or next to the button. Rather be explicit and avoid forcing users to guess (even if they will use this app a lot). You could name your buttons 'Save' and 'Discard' or, if hitting discard would take the user to the next step 'Discard and Proceed' Commented Apr 1, 2012 at 21:30

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.