Tabbed dialog problems

Subject: Tabbed dialog problems
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Sat, 14 Sep 1996 11:15:44 -0500

Jared Spool provided some helpful hints about usability
problems involving the use of tabbed dialog boxes. Here's
one possible solution:

1. On each tab/window within the dialog box, add one large,
well-labeled button that reads "apply [changes]".

2. Replace the "OK/cancel" buttons at the bottom of the
dialog box with two new buttons: "Done/Restore original".
("Undo" would be shorter than "restore", but perhaps not as
clear. I don't like overly terse buttons, but that's a
personal feeling, not a generalisation based on research.)

This approach needs a bit of work (i.e,. wording and
testing its usability). For example, "Restore original"
might work better right next to the "apply" button, since
this lets users immediately undo any changes. Then we'd
only have "done" at the bottom of the dialog box to let
users return to the software. Any other suggestions? What
do you think, Jared?

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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