Making a better alert prompt
One of my current projects in an event management system that generates mobile apps for the attendees of the event. Can’t wait to talk more about this project but that’s it in a nutshell.
In our iOS version we have a bookmark system. When a users goes to bookmark an event we present a dialogue asking if they’d like to enable a feature that would “mirror” their bookmarks onto the system’s calendar.
Question: Is this a good practice? Its seems like too aggressive of a feature to leave on by default but considering our users won’t have a long relationship with the app it’d be rare they discover this on their own. I’ve suggested we try to track usage of this feature so we can make a more informed default later and maybe drop the dialogue entirely. Thoughts?
The alert we currently show in beta is pretty bad.
**Save to calendar?** Would you like to automatically save bookmarks to your Calendar app? (You can change this preference later in your device settings) [Save to Calendar] [No]
Things I don’t like about this:
- It’s wordy.
- The string “Save to Calendar” is so long it makes the alert view use a different font size to fit it.
- The use of “No” is not a natural opposite to “Save…”. In general I don’t like YES/NO alerts as they require you to read the alert message. By using action words like SAVE, OPEN, CLOSE, LINK you have a better guess at what’s going to happen when you tap the button.
- Capitalization of “Calendar” isn’t consistent.
- The sentence inside of the parentheses doesn’t have a period.
- Using terms like “your Calendar app” are excessive for such a personal device. Of course it’s your Calendar. This isn’t a multi-user system.
A new alternative:
**Sync Bookmarks to Calendar?** Syncing will show all the events you bookmark in the Calendar app. [Sync] [Cancel]
I like the word sync better than save since we do in fact keep those calendar listings up to date with changes that come down the wire. I feel like dropping the whole “this can be changed later in preferences” message helps the alert feel less intimidating. The setting panel itself is actually a high level menu in our navigation controller. It’s not too hard to find if you go looking for it and this Calendar feature is the first setting listed.
Question: What do you think of my new alert dialogue? Have any further suggestions?
While it can sometimes feel excessive to analyze single alerts like this I do feel that small improvements do add up to make the overall app experience better. Hopefully you enjoyed a little insight into my own UI refactoring workflow.
Posted on: January 18, 2012 – 3:06 PM