For a popup window that requires the user to select one option only from a tree menu, should the selection of this option automatically close the popup?

I think this would break the fundamental rule of preventing errors however I need evidence to support this.

One design solution, was to include a Save button which the user selects after choosing their option. The Save button then closes the popup window.

(The popup window also has a close (X) button to the top right).

Any feedback / links to resources would be great thanks.

  • Are you required to use a popup for the tree selection? It seems like the wrong form of interaction for selection from a tree of items. Apr 11, 2012 at 17:46
  • Thanks for the feedback on this. It isn't ideal using a tree menu on a popup but this will be changed with further iterations. I agree that error prevention is important and although user will always be able to open popup again to make new selection, I will more than likely implement the save button on the popup after the selection is made. The risk of not having this button far outweighs any benefit to the user. Thanks.
    – Dee
    Apr 11, 2012 at 21:56

3 Answers 3


I think that is better to highlight the element. Then it shows another big button to accept the selection. On click on the accept button you can close the popup and people will know what has been chosen.


I think if the popup disappeared directly after selection, it may confuse the user. What if the user accidentally selects the wrong item? Can they easily go back, or will they be frustrated? What if they forgot what they selected - does the next step in the process display what they selected?

You could possibly let them select an item from the tree menu and provide a "Confirm Selection" button, along with a "Cancel" button (should that apply in your scenario) - either would make the popup close.


It depends on the action:

  • there are actions for you may want to leave the menu open, think of a number of checkboxes which enable other things in your view. Thats what @Jessica was speaking about. If you can, design all your actions for that.
  • then there actions which close the last part of your tree only. this can happen when no instant result can be found or other technical issues.
  • and last not but least, actions which close your menu entirely. But even if that action can't be expressed as toggle directly, it worth to build a preview of the action, so the user could see what the result would be, on hover for instance.

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