Say, I have an application with some advanced settings, which can be used for granular control over the application's behaviour. Most of these options are placed under a section called "Advanced".

However, there are some users who mess with these settings according to their (wrong) intution, and when things work in a different manner (it's working according to the expressed preferences), they complain. In some cases, they even break the application by selecting the wrong settings.

I'm considering adding a warning dialog like this:

Implemented warning dialog

However, I fear that many users will just click "OK" to make the message box "go away", without reading it, and then continue messing with the settings.

Is there a good way to ward off these users away?


1 Answer 1


I see two options:

  1. Obfuscation, for example on Windows if you want to be able to mess with System Files you first need to know how to get a few menus deep and uncheck the box. (Which then also has a pop up almost identical to the one in your post.)

  2. A reset button, if it is possible for you to include a 'Reset to Default' then you could write a test that if things are breaking it pops ups with a nice "We see you broke our app, how about hopping into our Time Machine and heading back to when things worked!"

That or just put 2-3 warning menus in a row. I have seen it where it pops up with a menu like yours above. Then when you click OK it brings up another menu saying 'You know, we're quite serious about this, you can really mess things up' and then it includes TWO choices.


I think generally a second or third pop up window has a higher chance of being read then the first one that is going to be glossed over by a lot of users.

  • I might add to this. Since OP said some of the advanced settings don't quite line up with the intuition of users, I'd consider some hover info or tooltips to make it clear what the settings actually do.
    – AdamUX
    Jun 22, 2014 at 14:43

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