How NOT to confirm when user is leaving without saving his work

Posted on 1247146376|%e %b %Y, %H:%M %Z|agohover under life software

Confirmation dialogs are useful in some situations but mostly they suck. They suck because programmers overuse them a lot and instead of showing real dialog, they try to frame the question such that it fits in fixed "Yes/No/Cancel" or "OK/Cancel" format. It makes it impossible for a user to determine what is being asked without actually reading whole text.

But this one is worse. It is so effective that it still catches me sometimes. I am talking about .NET Reactor. So you open this nice little application and do something with it. And then you decide to close it. It shows following screen:


Now this type of dialog is common. A lot of application confirms when you are leaving the application without saving your work. But what you normally get is:

There are some unsaved changes in document. Would you like to save them?

And you normally say "NO" to that dialog and get away. But .NET reactor is evil in this regard. It asks this question in a way that you have to say "YES" to get away.

To be fair to .NET reactor, its not necessarily wrong. But doing something different than most other software irritates the users. It sure irritates me.

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