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I have an iOS app sign-up process that is very, very lengthy. I implemented a button to cancel the process (there are reason why this might be necessary, for example to go back to the login screen).

Now I have a button that says "Cancel sign-up". My problem is now that I want to display an iOS action sheet for the user to confirm the decision to cancel the sign-up process, as it would be very costly for the user if he accidentally taps the Cancel button.

So far, so good. But what is the wording I can use on this action sheet. Normally "Cancel" would be my choice to "cancel the cancelling" and go back to the sign-up screens, but I would have used "Cancel sign-up" as my confirmation text.

Do you have any ideas how to solve this? Any wording options you might use instead of "Cancel"? Hiding the button even more so that it won't get tapped accidentally isn't really an option, since it shouldn't be completely out of sight. Undoing an accidental tap isn't an option either as it is very sensitive data and I want it removed once a user decides to cancel.

Searching for this particular problem was very unproductive as it seems this is an edge case where the main action is indeed a cancelling of something.

Thanks for your help.

  • Check out the most popular question on this site -- it's not framed exactly the same way, but many of the answers address how to represent this kind of single-vs-double-negative choice. ux.stackexchange.com/questions/49991/… – octern Jan 10 '16 at 4:17
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You could use wordings that describe where the user will land after clicking the buttons, rather than their relations to the immediate action (which creates this paradox you highlighted):

  • Go/Return to Login/Front page
  • Continue Sign-Up
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Ill go as far as saying:

dont confirm the cancellation of the sign up.
but on the login screen afterwards, provide a "no worries, continue signup where you left off"

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Make it clear to the user that all the information entered will be lost. You may also use the word "Abort" if you want to avoid using "cancel" again.

  • Abort sign-up and loose all data entered

  • Return back to sign-up

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It's not so much of an edge case for me, I've had to solve this problem a few times before. I would use something like "Back" and "Continue," but I would say that placement and color should certainly be used to underscore the purpose.

This is where consistency in UI pays off. In most of the apps I develop, I make destructive buttons red or "hot," and keep them to the left, where users are less likely to accidentally tap. Either way, button text should be as simple as possible. Don't use two words where you can use one.

  • 1
    That really doesn't help, for me. If cancelling the sign up conceptually means going back to the login page, then does "Back" on the cancellation confirmation modal mean go back to the sign up process or confirm going back to the login page? I've as a user suffered this struggle a number of times. The colours don't help. Does the bold option mean "this is the option that goes in the sense of what I expressed" or "this is the option that is likely to be least dangerous"? Users still have to make that interpretation before they can trust themselves to click the button. – Steve Dodier-Lazaro Jan 8 '16 at 15:23
  • Won't work. If you press cancel signup, and you get a popup that says back/continue, it's not clear if it means 'back to homepage' or 'back to signup' and if it's 'cancel the signup' or 'cancel the canceling'. That's the issue here: double negatives. – PixelSnader Jan 9 '16 at 11:42

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