I am making a web family tree that will allow users to update biographies that they view in the tree.

If they are updating the user's name of a specific biography, it will simply replace the value on the page with the updated value. This is the ideal situation, and the majority of all changes will be minor, such as this.

There are only two changes the user can make that cannot be "updated" on view, with ajax. This is when they are adding or removing a 'spouse'.

To fix this, I was going to simply have the page refresh. On a page refresh, it will bring the user back to where they were.

Is this going to confuse the user? The site is currently set to refresh AFTER the ajax success message appears.

Should I display a message while the content is being updated that says "This page will refresh in a few seconds to finish the update." ?

Thanks so much, and please let me know if you need any clarification.

1 Answer 1


In my opinion refreshing the page will not cause confusion because users tend to associate page refresh with updating information. If you like to make sure that users understand the situation clearly, instead of showing them a message "This page will refresh in a few seconds to finish the update", I'd show them a message after the refresh "Your Spouse was added successfully" to signal the changes. In additional I'll also show the success notification on other minor updates you mentioned to indicate the content was changed.

  • +1 for the do not display "This page will refresh in a few seconds to finish the update" tip. Don't tell your user about uninteresting technical details that your app will do behind the scenes. Tell him about the actual practical thing that your app has done for the user. And tell him after you have done it, not before. ;-) Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 10:30
  • Telling them beforehand is only really interesting if you want to have an undo/cancel action available at that point. Otherwise just go. People will understand that some larger changes might work different, if they care at all. Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 13:36

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