dcsimg
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: "Save", "OK", "Make it so" still relevant today?

  1. #1

    Thread Starter
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    22

    "Save", "OK", "Make it so" still relevant today?

    I'm making a new version of a program that's been around for nigh on 20 years.

    Let's not discuss whether a diskette button is relevant today - that's already been discussed to death.

    Ignoring image or wording - I was thinking whether I should have any manual 'Save' function at all.

    I'm quite old so making changes and closing a window without specifically saving always meant that I wanted to discard my changes. Often, using Mac/OSX, I'd go to a settings page within an app, toggle a few toggles and find myself looking for a save button after making changes and/or wishing there was a way to exit without saving instead.

    Auto Save is now creeping into windows too. The other day I went into some settings window, made a load of changes and then changed my mind - but there was no way to undo it, I had to remember which toggles I'd toggled and un-toggle each one individually.

    But is that the way kids think? Maybe they're correct. I mean, when I walk round the office before going home, each light/device/system went off (or on) as soon as I flicked its switch. There's no master 'Make it so' button on the front door. I can't exit without saving or cancel my changes without walking round the building again.

    Is that how people's heads work nowadays? Do users nowadays simply assume that their work is being sync'd 'somewhere' without needing to click any 'save' button. They flick a couple of switches and the changes are made immediately - just like switching off a few lights in a room.

    It got me thinking - surely making changes and saving is the most common process. Maybe everything should save automatically unless the user specifically chooses not to by looking for the option to Undo, Cancel, abort, exit without saving.

    So. user opens a document window - makes changes to the document and closes it. In the background the document was saved automatically.

    Instead of a Save button that the user MUST click I'm thinking the program should auto-save everything and offer an Undo button that users 'can' click if they want to.

    But maybe that's too big a change to throw at an existing user base.

    But I'm thinking off adding a setup option that enables AutoSave.

    Or should I just stick with the good old diskette button.
    Last edited by Axcontrols2; Aug 24th, 2018 at 01:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    An obscure body in the SK system. The inhabitants call it Earth
    Posts
    6,925

    Re: "Save", "OK", "Make it so" still relevant today?

    Personally I prefer an explicit Save/Commit but, like you, I'm old. I think the only fundamental requirement is that both persisting and abandoning changes is supported so, while I prefer a Save button, I wouldn't blanche at an autosave with undo option either.

    I suppose you should argue that we should support the most common path by default. So will your users commit more often than they abandon? If they will then you would want the autosave/undo, otherwise you would want a manual save.

    And then there's consistency. What do other programs like yours do? The "like yours" is important because paradigms tend to be common to the eco-system of the app. Most business type apps (CRMs, ordering systems etc) still require me manually commit, including web ones. IDEs almost all save as they build and run so that's essentially an autosave and any ability to abandon comes from source control. Office Apps sit somewhen in the middle. Word might be autosaving in the background but it retains a rollback but it could just as easily do the exact opposite. The user experience is that it simply asks me whether I want to save or abandon when I close the app.

    I would say that, as long as your application is clear and support both outcomes, the implementation doesn't matter that much.
    You can depend upon the Americans to do the right thing. But only after they have exhausted every other possibility - Winston Churchill

    Hadoop actually sounds more like the way they greet each other in Yorkshire - Inferrd

  3. #3
    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Manchester uk
    Posts
    2,461

    Re: "Save", "OK", "Make it so" still relevant today?

    There's no master 'Make it so' button on the front door
    Also know as the Captain Picard button

    I dont think there is any right answer on this.

    For some software it might be preferable for any changes to save immediately for me settings should generally change straight away i dont want a save button i want them to come into effect as i toggle them, but in other situations for instance in SQL Server where i am writing a Stored Procedure i dont want it to save the script file until i specifically save it as i dont want to have to undo a bunch of changes if i decided i dont want them and want to revert to an earlier version of the script.

    In Word when typing a document auto save is a very nice feature so you dont lose stuff accidentally.

    So i think it depends on the data being saved, is it data that someone might have worked on for a while and therefore there is value in not losing it or is it something that is more transient?
    Please Mark your Thread "Resolved", if the query is solved & Rate those who have helped you



  4. #4

    Thread Starter
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    22

    Re: "Save", "OK", "Make it so" still relevant today?

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    And then there's consistency. What do other programs like yours do?
    It's an inventory program. It's a slow moving industry. People don't like change Many of these are big clunky things designed in the 70's and shoe-horned into current Windows UI.

    But the old guys can't hang on forever.

    At least mine has a 3.5inch diskette on the save button. Some others still have a picture of a 5.25" (or 8") floppy that look like they were drawn with GEM Paint.

    I don't want to make a totally futuristic/alien UI. A user experienced with other programs should be able to use mine intuitively - but I also don't want to follow the pack. If we all did that things would never evolve.

  5. #5

    Thread Starter
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    22

    Re: "Save", "OK", "Make it so" still relevant today?

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedSomeAnswers View Post
    .... writing a Stored Procedure i dont want it to save the script file until i specifically save it ...
    Yes. Keying in an SQL statement int SSMS I wouldn't want it to automatically click its own [Excute !] button before I'd double checked the syntax.

    Also know as the Captain Picard button
    Makes you want to make a custom message box with

    MessageBox.Show("Do you really want to avoid the Borg?", "Run!!", MessageBoxButtons.EngageMakeItSoAbort, MessageBoxIcon.PicardHead)
    Last edited by Axcontrols2; Aug 24th, 2018 at 05:05 AM. Reason: spelling

  6. #6
    PowerPoster
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Modesto, Ca.
    Posts
    3,737

    Re: "Save", "OK", "Make it so" still relevant today?

    I'm old too, in fact I'm retired. But I've never liked leaving the function of saving there work to the operator. This may be due to the fact that most of my programs were heavily data entry oriented, Invoices, Inventory, Accounting... I never wanted an operator to spend two hours busting there butt entering data and then something goes wrong and they lose all there work. Honestly I've never had a client complain about this approach. Also I don't have to worry about getting a phone call from the client saying "Your program isn't working right, Mary has lost a whole morning work and she's sure she Clicked the Save button".

    I know there are down sides to this method but I've never regretted using method. But to be honest I don't have any idea what "people today" expect. Good luck.

  7. #7
    PowerPoster
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    19,069

    Re: "Save", "OK", "Make it so" still relevant today?

    As far as icons go, there are standard emoticons for both "plle of poo" U+1F4A9 (dump changes to disk) and "roll of toilet paper" U+1F9FB (discard changes). So you can easily modernize the look if you wish.
    Last edited by dilettante; Aug 24th, 2018 at 07:35 PM.

  8. #8

    Thread Starter
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    22

    Re: "Save", "OK", "Make it so" still relevant today?

    Quote Originally Posted by wes4dbt View Post
    I'm old too, in fact I'm retired. But I've never liked leaving the function of saving there work to the operator. This may be due to the fact that most of my programs were heavily data entry oriented, Invoices, Inventory, Accounting... I never wanted an operator to spend two hours busting there butt entering data and then something goes wrong and they lose all there work. Honestly I've never had a client complain about this approach. Also I don't have to worry about getting a phone call from the client saying "Your program isn't working right, Mary has lost a whole morning work and she's sure she Clicked the Save button".

    I know there are down sides to this method but I've never regretted using method. But to be honest I don't have any idea what "people today" expect. Good luck.

    In the current version of my software, the user must click the 'Save' button when he's done. If he tries closing without saving then a popup appears asking if he really wants to exit without saving.

    I was thinking of removing that manual save option and saving automatically when the user closes the document unless the user specifically selects an option to exit without saving.

    But you got me thinking - With my line of thinking 'Mary' would lose her work if she just left the document on the screen and went out to lunch and the power went down while she was out.

    So maybe I need to take it a step further and auto-save every few minutes.

    On the other hand, I notice that this webpage is autosaving ever few minutes as I type this. But where does that go? If I simply close my browser without clicking the '[Post]' button this text will simply be discarded as if it never existed.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator si_the_geek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Bristol, UK
    Posts
    40,116

    Re: "Save", "OK", "Make it so" still relevant today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Axcontrols2 View Post
    On the other hand, I notice that this webpage is autosaving ever few minutes as I type this. But where does that go? If I simply close my browser without clicking the '[Post]' button this text will simply be discarded as if it never existed.
    I believe this site saves the auto-recover text to a cookie. If you close the page and come back, there is a button to restore the text.

    In terms of your program you can do something similar (and more similar to Word etc), by simply saving to a 'temporary' file somewhere (probably in AppData, along with any other data files your program works with that the user shouldn't modify directly), and allowing the user to restore the context of that file if they come back into the program without having saved. To detect if they haven't saved, you can simply delete (or empty) the file just after their save has finished.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  



Featured


Click Here to Expand Forum to Full Width