Questions tagged [dialog]

a dialog box is a type of window used to enable a "dialog" between a computer and its user.

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124
votes
12answers
8k views

How do you give your user options without overloading them?

I was using WinSCP the other day for transferring files, when I came across this.. umm.. I'll call it a set of options, but it was more like an interview. Oh boy. I just want to move a file. Now I ...
100
votes
5answers
14k views

Why do dialogs have grey backgrounds?

Most Windows/Mac/Linux dialogs I've seen have grey backgrounds. About-dialogs, settings pages, wizards, confirmation and error dialogs etc. Is there a reason from a usability perspective or is this ...
94
votes
7answers
13k views

Is it possible to make a "good" options dialog?

One thing I'm struggling with, and have yet to see an example I'm happy with, is an options dialog (in a desktop app, if that makes any difference.) I'm having difficulties with my own, but they all ...
50
votes
7answers
7k views

Why do most programs separate Find and Replace dialogs?

Why do most programs separate Find and Replace dialogs? Obviously, I'm talking about apps like text editors and word processors, apps that are used for editing content. It just seems strange, at best,...
34
votes
7answers
5k views

How patient are users at wait dialogs?

What is the length of time the average user will wait at a wait indicator (i.e. a spinning circle, beach-ball-of-death, egg-timer) before they think something has gone wrong? If anybody can point to ...
22
votes
7answers
17k views

The logic behind having an OK button and Apply button

Moving back to desktop land after being drunk with mobile interfaces, desktop dialogs almost always have these three buttons: OK Apply Cancel A close button. This pattern seems to occur on both ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

What happened to "What's this?" help?

"What's this?" help or context-sensitive help* used to be commonplace in Windows applications a few years ago. Dialog windows had an additional "?" button in the top right, that when clicked, gave you ...
15
votes
8answers
5k views

Should I remove "Name" field in my newsletter sign up form?

I want to make a newsletter dialog for my website. Currently the form is including "Name" Field. I think it would be better to leave this off, and make the form with the email field and subscribe ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

What's the purpose of the bottom bar in popups / modal windows?

There seems to be a common pattern where the bottom of a modal window contains an area that looks slightly separated from its content. I'm trying to find out where this habit comes from, and what ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Meaning of Capitalization in Y/N Prompts

This issue came while running a script that requires a yes or no response before proceeding. Does the capitalization of the y and n usually matter? In this example... $copy_package some_package File ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Dialog - settings vary due to first selection

I'm building a dialog where we need to do a selection, before configure. The configuration varies, depending on the 'meal'. What kind of dialog is better? (and why?): The one with the dropdown The ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Why does Google Drive use a dialog for renaming files? [closed]

In all modern file managers, when you rename a file, it allows you to rename the file on the label in the file manager like this: Windows, macOS, and Dropbox's web interface all have this behavior. ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there any studies of users getting jaded of dialog requests?

There are permission request boxes such as this one, or requests from other users as per online social networking sites. Are there any studies that show people becoming jaded of dialogue boxes of any ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the best positioning strategy for dialog boxes?

In a Windows application, there are many options for determining the starting position of a dialog. In the center of the application's main window In the center of the screen where the application's ...
7
votes
6answers
735 views

Combine load and save button into one button?

I'm having a configuration GUI, and want to enable the user to export the settings into a file and load that file later (or on a different computer). My dialog has several options, and is rather small:...
7
votes
2answers
253 views

Does it make sense to put a prompt for sound or mute before a game is started?

I am building a game that is very sound-centric, but at the same time I recognize how annoying it is to be bombarded by unwanted noise. The problem with putting a mute/sound button in-game is that ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Which button should get the focus at delete dialogs?

I thought that most destructive actions should be avoided from default actions. But when a delete dialog comes, I see that most Windows applications (even the OS), by default, set the focus at "...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

When to include an Apply button?

In a dialogue box, when do you use an Apply button? Is it correct to assume that the Apply button will only save the changes without closing the dialogue? Does it represent an advantage? Why is ...
6
votes
6answers
356 views

Remember dialog sizes or not?

A lot of program dialogs can be resized. Some programs remember the new size of the dialog after you've resized it. So next time you open the same dialog, the new size is being used. Right now in the ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Best way to display errors to users who encounter an internal server error

(User Flow: user try to submit a form request) Should I display the "Internal Server Error" message? Is there any message that understandable to user rather than saying "Internal Server Error"?
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Should touch-screen simple informational dialogs have an OK button?

I am developing an android application which has quite a few dialogs that just contain text and an 'OK' button. Pressing the 'OK' button loses the dialog, as does pressing the 'back' button on the ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Scroll in a dialogue overlay (lightbox)

I have been asked to redesign some existing dialogue overlays, which have a lot of options within them. So many in fact, that they're using both vertical tabs and a scrollbar to manage the volume of ...
6
votes
1answer
382 views

Alert window, navigating to the right button

Working on both Windows and OSX, I have some habits on both. In alert dialogs, there is a huge usability variance between both operating systems. In the latter, you can either tap enter and have the ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Should closing the dialog clear its fields?

I identified as the most preferrable strategy for user not to lose their data implementation of confirmation/discard dialog when exiting original one. I expect a few more form dialogs to emerge in ...
5
votes
4answers
383 views

Usage of ellipses "..." on buttons

Microsoft has a very clear usage of "..." on buttons which open a dialog. taken from Microsoft guidelines though looking "old" its very clear what will happen after pressing the button. Is there a ...
5
votes
1answer
96 views

Is it a good idea to pop-up a dialog asking for a search update after click on tab?

It's a desktop environment and there's one slow query with lots of joins. It currently executes when the user clicks a specific tab - instead of having to open the tab, and then click a button. But ...
5
votes
3answers
857 views

Best way to handle when typology used by tech is different than typology presented to users?

This question is a follow-up to this one on Meta.SE about the flag dialog used on SE sites. In the dialog, the first two ("spam" and "rude/abusive") are considered the same type of flag, and the ...
4
votes
9answers
4k views

What is the usability benefit of "drag files/images here"?

I often see upload dialogs asking the user to drag a file into a highlighted area: This is an alternative to the classic file chooser dialog. How does the drag-and-drop-option improve the usability?...
4
votes
1answer
299 views

How can I present a yes/no question to a user prior to them submitting a background job?

I am a programmer by training and I often find that I have writer's block when I come across certain presentation issues. I have a piece of software that links a seller user up with his account in an ...
4
votes
2answers
736 views

When is an "always on top" dialog or window a good idea?

Today I upgraded an application, and the application showed the progress in an always-on-top dialog that I couldn't minimize and which stayed on-screen for over a minute, interfering with my work. ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

Alert dialog to confirm a Cancel action

I have an application from which you can run different step by step wizards. It has a Cancel button at the top, which allows the user to quit the current wizard. I have a dialog that appears on ...
4
votes
1answer
334 views

Alternative to dialog windows

We are designing web based app that consists of forms. These forms have two main parts: big datagrid (table) and a panel that shows details about record selected in a table. There is a largely used ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

How to show validation messages on a modal/dialog form

We have a dialog as HTML/CSS based desktop window (Sciter based UI if that matters ) and there is a requirement to provide validation messages on it: Questions that we have: Is it in principle ...
4
votes
3answers
215 views

Settings dialog with multiple tabs: same options on two different tabs?

I am designing a settings dialog with multiple tabs for our desktop application. There is a particular (small) group of options that is applicable to two separate tabs in the settings dialog. I ...
4
votes
3answers
490 views

Tray Icon application with pops up alerts

I am coding a Tray Icon application in Java - it runs in the background & polls a server. On receiving a particular message from the server the application pops up an alert from the Tray Icon. The ...
3
votes
3answers
282 views

How do I best describe a "confirm a download" in a dialog box?

We have a feature that offers subscription-based downloads. There are limitations to the counter back-end so to make sure a customer does not get charged by mistake, we have implemented a pop up box ...
3
votes
4answers
822 views

What is the purpose of the 60-second shutdown timer in macOS?

What's the purpose of having a 60-second timer for the shutdown dialog in macOS? Why automatically shut down the user's computer if they leave the dialog box open?
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Are mathematical symbols easier to understand than text?

I'm creating a dialog and presenting a list of mathematical comparison options to choose from. e.g. [attribute] [>] [value] I'm wondering if there's any research as to whether it's more intuitive to ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Microsoft Windows Dialog: No Close Button Scenario(s)

Windows Dev Center states: "Dialog boxes always have a Close button...Don't disable the Close button. Having a Close button helps users stay in control by allowing them to close windows they don't ...
3
votes
2answers
498 views

When to use spin boxes, and when to use numbers-only edit boxes?

When should we use numbers-only edit boxes, and when should we use spin boxes? Is there a rule of thumb to decide which to use? Or should we always use spin boxes if we'll be inputting only numbers? ...
3
votes
3answers
823 views

Best way to remind a user to do a certain action

I've been asked to implement a "reminder" which should indicate to users of a web application that they have not provided a phone number yet. I see two ways of doing this: When the user logs on to ...
3
votes
3answers
493 views

Warnings on a dialog

What will be the optimal solution for the following use case: A dialog is opened on the screen, when clicking on an action button to send the dialog (after filling in details), in some cases a warning ...
3
votes
4answers
664 views

Confirmation dialog button wording

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). ...
3
votes
1answer
477 views

Do users like/read changelogs("What's new" dialogs)?

When I update my app(with bug fixes, new features, removed features etc), I present the user with a dialog like this: Does the user actually read it? Will they find the dialog annoying? Will the user ...
3
votes
4answers
679 views

Best way to choose color combination from palette?

I have the following scenario: This is a color picker for a software we're developing. Basically we have different Groups for Items and Items are displayed as boxes in a grid with a given color ...
3
votes
2answers
246 views

Undo-ing in a non-modal dialog

I'm developing a graphical engineering application for desktop environments. As of today the application uses mostly non-modal dialogs that immediately commit the changes to the selected object. So ...
3
votes
2answers
342 views

Should a web-based non-modal dialog prevent users from leaving it via keyboard access?

Say that a dialog is non-modal, meaning that a user can use the mouse to interact with elements outside of the dialog without closing it. Does this also mean that the user should also be able to ...
3
votes
3answers
856 views

Should a "Close" button on a dialog message modal always be in the same position and style?

Here are two examples of a current message dialog we have in the application I'm working on. The close button is the primary and only button in the left dialog. It's one of two options in the right ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Where should keyboard focus be after activating a button that brings up a non-modal dialog?

I have a button that shows a non-modal dialog, like this: The "Show Symbol Picker" button brings up the symbol picker non-modal dialog. If the button is pressed again, the dialog stays open, and ...
3
votes
2answers
217 views

Best way of making a credits transfer dialog

I am designing a dialog which would allow user to transfer credits from his account to "an object's account". Transfer is only in one direction -- after you confirm transfering credits to an object's ...