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Our system creates some records and have a review screen that lets the user see what was created. We would like to allow two actions in that screen:

  • Delete - remove the records completely, with no option to restore them.
  • Dismiss - hide the records from the review screen, but keep the record in the system.

What would be the best way to name the above actions, so users don't get confused? Here are some options we thought of:

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  • These actions are probably not phrased in terms of user actions, but sound rather like 'System database record management actions'. Good UX should be user centred, not system centric. So how do these actions match the primary user goals and tasks? (i.e. It is never a user goal to "Delete a record" they would be trying to achieve a business or personal goal. If you address the goal directly the UI may be simpler overall) – Jason A. Dec 11 '14 at 11:29
  • @Jayfang this screen is for users to review the items we created for them. The "delete" action is for deleting the items they don't want, and the "dismiss" action is for hiding the items from the screen, if the they want to. How would you name these actions? – Tzach Dec 11 '14 at 11:45
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    Keep in mind the full user story. How do they get back to the "hidden" items? e.g. Are they "Saving for later?" At the moment there is not enough of a semantic gap between the two options (hence why the potential confusion). This semantic certainty should be driven by user story – Jason A. Dec 11 '14 at 12:44
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1) 'Archive' actually will be misleading unless record retrieval is provided.

2) 'Hide' is also not appropriate, since 'Show' is the opposite of Hide and user may think that there is an opposite action somewhere else.

Hence either go with 'Dismiss' and 'Delete' or,

I will feel more appropriate word is 'Ignore' and 'Delete'.

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By clicking 'Ignore' user is ignoring that record from reviewing. I guess this is some reviewing system, and reviewing is optional and can be ignored, but records are maintained for auditing purpose.

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Archive hints that it can be recovered. Google uses this term in Gmail and I can’t imagine they got that wrong. If items can’t be recovered, than there is no use in leaving this choice to the user.

But if it is not about archiving items but about reviewing them later, than provide options and labels that are part of that flow.

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Also use just delete and no trash icon. The icon suggests that items can be restored like the Windows recycle bin. And off course, let users confirm the delete action so they know that it is definitive.

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Delete is widely used in most systems as a permanent delete action. Between hide and archive, I would use them depending on what kind of records the system is creating. Dismiss I would use for item such and notes and notifications. if the records are permanent items in a database, I would use archive.

With dismiss, I would sometime assume that the record will appear sometime later similar to a postpone.

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I would go with the first option

Dismiss and Delete

Delete - as we all know is to remove the record permanently.

Hide - gives a sense of ambiguity as whether the record will be hidden currently from my screen or will it be hidden permanently or will there be a "Show" button to see the hidden files.

Archive - The general understanding is to store a record which has been viewed already and might be useful for future retrieval.

Dismiss - gives a feeling of "Leave my screen now, I will see you later". And it does not imply the meaning of any of the words mentioned above.

So my suggestions would be to go with Dismiss and Delete.

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