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Usability of Command Buttons in a Multiple-Use Dialog (Design/HCI Question)

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Joined: 2007-09-10

Our system is Swing (and AWT) based, but I felt it would be appropriate to post my question here, because I believe it has more to do with usability than any particular user interface API. I apologize if I have picked the wrong place to post.


Our ongoing project involves developing a specialized user interface for an off-the-shelf simulation system. Our interface enables users to plan and submit missions to be executed by virtual

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Joined: 2006-12-18

First of all, thanks for the clear post and background. I do believe this is in the correct place. Also, I'm not an expert in design, so please take my opinion with a grain of salt.

The problem with having both "Close" as "OK" is that people don't believe data disappears: they type a new number somewhere and, if they press Close instead of Cancel, will expect that number to sink in with the application. "Close" is implementation--it says the window will close, but gives no other clues (i.e. will the application accept my input?). "Close" is either OK or Cancel; in your case, it seems to be Cancel, so my advice would be to label it such.

4 buttons is not for the average user. However, the buttons you have each serve a clear purpose, so you don't have a problem, in my opinion. Other than "Close" > "Cancel", your labels seem fine to me.

Perhaps someone more knowledgeable can give a more authorative answer.