Secret ingredients to quality software


Messages - Do you avoid 'OK' button when the action is clear?

Created on 27 Nov 2012 | Last updated by Rebecca Liu on 27 Nov 2012 04:32 AM (over 8 years ago)

Don't use "OK" if the button does one clear action. The button name must reflect the action that is going to happen by clicking the button. Examples of button names that are better than "OK" are:

  • Save
  • Move
  • Rename
  • Open
  • Select
  • Insert
  • Print
  • Process
  • Login

Figure: Save button in action

However, there is an exception when there are multiple settings being changed. Typical examples are Properties and the Tools - Options dialog. There are often many tabs with many options. It would make no sense to have "Save Settings" or "Save". This is where the "OK" "Apply" "Cancel" convention really applies.

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