I have groups that contains a list of articles. Previously when deleting a group we first popped up a dialog asking if the user was sure he wanted to delete the group.

Then if the user had made changes to the group before the delete we also popped up another dialog warning the user that he had unsaved changes.

Now we're changing that behaviour. I've argued that if the user has consented to a delete then the fact that there is unsaved changes is not relevant.

However we could easily append "any unsaved changes will be lost" to the delete message. We could even a go a step further and inform the user of exactly what changes would be lost.

I afraid that the extra information might make the user hesistant to use the delete function. Any ideas how I should I proceed? Any alternative ways to do this?

1 Answer 1


It is not necessary to notify if the changes were made immediately before by the same user requesting the delete.

In this case the user's intent is quite clear, and I see no danger that they would later regret losing their edits.

If there is a possibility that the user making the request is unaware of the changes, you should notify them.

For example, if another user is editing the group at the same time the delete is requested, it would be good to warn about this.

Or if there is a possibility of something like a "draft" version that was edited awhile ago but never applied, it would be good to notify in this case as well. Even if the same user made these edits, if they could have been made awhile ago, the user might have forgotten.

Any warning should be as specific as possible.

Do not warn every time, but only when there are actual unsaved changes. And, say what the changes are:

This group is currently being edited by user blah.


The following files have unsaved changes:

  • foo - 2015-10-05
  • bar - 2015-10-06

If they do need to reconsider their action, this will provide them with information needed to do so.

  • I really like the sentiment that if a user needs to reconsider their action they should be provided with the information to do so. It really framed the issue for me. Oct 9, 2015 at 8:59

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