I'm implementing an option in one of my iPhone apps that would put one of my existing controllers into a new mode of operation. Instead of tapping on icons to add events within the app, the controller would now edit the icons themselves, so the user can change their border colors and titles.

This is an optional feature that I would like to explain to the user. I plan on doing the following:

  1. Making the icons shake, like iPhone home screen
  2. Displaying a "Would you like to continue" dialog each time the user returns to the screen, until the user cancels.

I'm thinking of how I can word this dialog to make it clearer to the user that the app is still in edit mode and am wandering what should I do with the button titles of the alert dialog. I'm struggling with:

  1. the wording of the dialog title
  2. last sentence in the attached screenshot
  3. Button titles that respond to the question

I can ask a question in the form of "Would you like to stop editing now?" and have YES/NO answers

Or I can keep the dialog in the form of Would you like to [Action verb] with options of [Action Verb]/Cancel

Which approach is more user friendly and is better/quicker understood by iPhone users?

What should the title say for a dialog like this one?

Thank you for your input!

enter image description here

  • Could you please add more information about the scenario you are facing here please. If your concern is that Alert View is being shown again and again for small edits and you are searching for suitable text that will not irk users, try avoiding the Alert View only. Like Gmail auto save popup, decide things for users and give him auto close popup with an undo option.
    – Raj
    Nov 5, 2012 at 10:53

2 Answers 2


Usually, when you want to warn somebody or ask them a question for verification or confirmation in real life, it follows the pattern of a statement followed by a question. For example, "So you've ordered 2 grilled chicken sandwiches, medium fries, and 2 small drinks. Will that be all?".

Another example is that of an ATM. For example, "Using this ATM will cause you to incur a service fee of $3.00. Continue?" And the options usually are "OK" and "Cancel".

Applying the same logic here, what if you change the title to a statement instead of a question? For example, instead of "Continue Editing?", you could say "You're editing events".

And then the following question could be "Do you want to continue editing?" with the answer options being "Yes" and "No".

Now read the whole thing again. It is more conversational and flows nicely.

Hope that helps.


Answer given above is excellent, I just want to notice, that in iOS apps, you should avoid using YES/NO answers in alert view.

You can find it in HIG

Use “OK” for a simple acceptance option if there is no better alternative. Avoid using “Yes” or “No.”

I believe, that the reason for this is that user really have to understand the question until he is sure which one to select.

Read HIG especially part designated for Alerts, you can find answers to all your questions ;) iOS Humant Interface Guidelines

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.