OK is not OK, but Close is ?

I’ve been rummaging through the Windows Vista User Interface Experience Guidelines draft, a 33 MB pdf file, and it poses some interesting questions around warning and exception dialog messages.  Now apparently it is not OK to present the user with an exception message and an OK button.  Instead the guidelines recommend the button caption should be “Close“.  Is that close as in “so close but yet so far” ?  Or close as in we’re about to shut down your application and windows and you’ll loose all unsaved work ?  (that one always gets people when you use a modal dialog <g>)  .

Close seems incredibly wrong to me. In fact I’m sure when I’ve assisted folks over the phone and some other application or windows has presented them with only the option of “close” it has caused much angst. I raised this with Nick Randolph and he suggested that perhaps a better caption would be “Continue” . I think that’s a good option in some cases. In others where you can’t continue as such, instead you “Resume” and in others you might go back to the screen/page from where you launched the original request, hence “Back”.

Continue, Resume, Back, and dare I even suggest Retry or Ignore, but not Close.

3 Comments so far

  1.   alunj on November 1st, 2007          

    What about “Finish” or “End”?

  2.   bill on November 2nd, 2007          

    Where do “Finish” or “End” take you if you click on them ? Do they take you “Back” to where you started ?

  3.   Dave Parker on November 5th, 2007