Some of the application have Double Confirmation for DELETE action. Also, some of the application behavior is "Type DELETE" and continue to delete.

Is this correct way?

My opinion is, we can have this option when there is no "Undo" feature. Otherwise we can have one time alert.

Please share your thoughts here.


4 Answers 4


It depends on how critical the delete operation. A simple "Warning! this action cannot be undone" will work - if your end-user is human. Certain applications have an automation feature or prone to get hacked by a program - in these cases a warning would not help, you will need something to halt the process.

Mission critical applications (and even some Video Games) provide this feature "Type Delete to delete this item" while new trends ask you to "Type the name of the item to permanently delete it". Sometimes even a password/key/authentication code is used.


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Again, the option of having either or both depends on the nature of your application, end-users, and your capabilities to restore deleted items without much impact on the eco-system or cost to the business / application itself.

Example: If you are tying to delete the application making the prompt (which cannot be undone) - use more than just a button to confirm. If you are just deleting a row of data from a table, use a simple alert box.



download bmml source

  • 2
    I like this approach, however, I would probably change the button "Ok" to "Delete" to reinforce something is being deleted.
    – Keiwes
    Jul 19, 2013 at 16:26
  • Yes, that button should have been "Delete". Added one more mock-up :P
    – Rayraegah
    Jul 19, 2013 at 16:39

I suspect games like that are counter-productive. It focuses the users on what they have to do to get rid of the annoying message and distracts them from the task and the implications of their actions. They get too busy typing "Delete" or whatever that they aren't thinking, "Wait a minute, what exactly am I deleting? Is now the time I should be deleting it? Which is the obsolete document to delete, "Long Memo" or "Big Memo"? 'Delete' means 'archive,' right?"

If you have a clear easy undo, you don't need any confirmation. If Undo is impossible, then use a confirmation if the action has a good chance of being seriously harmful, but don't expect the message to help much no matter how you make it.

The best you can do is indicate exactly what the user is about to do, and what the implications are, as succinctly as possible. Put the command ("Delete") in the button, not "OK," so at least users will notice that much. Keep the message small and to the side of the object selected for the action so the user sees the context what the action applies to in order to verify it's the right object. Consider an illustration that shows at a glance what the user is about to do (e.g., a thumbnail of the specific document in question about to be fed to the shredder).


I noticed that the double delete verification comes into play whenever the user is deleting something of higher importance only. Otherwise, I could easily see it becoming more of nuisance than anything.

You need to prioritize what would be a hassle or detrimental for a user to lose based on a mistake behavior.

In a game for example, it's not a big deal if you delete a common item by accident, but this isn't the case for something that is rare.


It's all context related I believe.

If a user is on some site and they created a new article named "Article1" and they never typed in anything other than the name then deleting it should be EASY. No need to confirm anything.

If the user created Article2 and type in some text and added some tags....then this would need confirmation because it risks losing important user data.

If your application has an "activity log" that the user can look at and use to "undo" actions then deletion confirmation might not be necessary. If they wanted to undo the delete they could undo it themselves.

Github does the "type the name of the project to delete" because a user better be darn sure about deletion and what they want to delete. It might've taken days to code the project or files, etc.

I think you should decide based on the sensitivity of the data ( like in the Article examples above ) as well as the undo/redo functionality you add to your application.

In some cases you might even DISALLOW deletion altogether because other items in the system reference the item you want to delete. In that case you would point out the dependencies to the user so they can decide if they want to go and delete those.

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