I have an application where users can select some items from a catalogue and add into their reports.

  • Some users prefer to add positions one by one, first opening the catalogue, adding a new position, checking how it looks in report, then open catalogue again to add next item and so on.

  • Other users prefer to add a lot of positions from catalogue, then close catalogue window and keep working on report.

So I have 2 buttons on the catalogue form: "Add item" and "Add item and close catalogue window".

Now I'm wondering how to name these buttons not to confuse users when they see this form first time and make my application more user friendly to new comers.

How would you name these buttons? What pictures for the buttons would you use?

  • Are your catalogue display one item by one or multiple Item at same time ?
    – Akarun
    Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 11:18
  • This question could do with a more specific title...but I'm totally blanking on what would be appropriate
    – Zelda
    Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 14:34
  • Is it a web application or desktop? Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 21:09
  • Multiple items, desktop app
    – TOP KEK
    Commented Mar 30, 2012 at 7:15

3 Answers 3


Perhaps renaming the buttons would help?

Some ideas:

  • "Add" and "Add & Review"
  • "Add" and "Add & Preview"
  • "Add" and "Add & Close"

I know it sounds dreadfully simple, but you also don't want to alienate existing user base by making drastic changes.

  • +1 for bringing 'Preview' into the game. But 'Preview' also implies that it is reversible and IMHO the application should support this. Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 21:13
  • Probably the best idea. Right now I've implemented interface exactly in this way, despite I don't like idea to create buttons with multiple actions behid
    – TOP KEK
    Commented Mar 30, 2012 at 7:16

I think you should only have two buttons: Add item and Close window. If the user only wants to add a single item, let them press Add item and then press Close window. Otherwise they can repeat Add item as many times as they like before pressing Close window.

  • that was my original idea, rejected later by boss
    – TOP KEK
    Commented Mar 30, 2012 at 7:14

It is necessary to make distinct model of interaction with group of the chosen elements. The choice of one item from the catalog is a special case of the general model. It is necessary to add marking of selected items. (the simplest way - checkbox). One button is enough, which pressing will lead to closing of the catalog and addition of all chosen positions into report.

Addition of one item in the report and closing of the catalog is reasonable for realizing through doubleclick.

Here approximate scenario of interaction 1) Call btn "+" Insert item from catalog 2) Mark necessary items (or use doubleclick on item for Add & close) 3) Call btn "Add" Items to report

Notification of quantity of selected items and if that is necessary and the list of selected item names - is good user-friendly practice.

  • It's a good idea, but there are some minor problems with realisation. First, the catalogue has hierarchical structure and 40k elements, so checkboxes can not be implemented. Second, doubleclick confuses users. From my experience, 90% of users will call technical support first before they even try to open documentation or try doubleclick :)
    – TOP KEK
    Commented Mar 29, 2012 at 12:41

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