How much thought do you give to writing the text on dialog boxes when you’re designing?
It’s fairly common for these to be written by the developers as they’re being coded, from what I’ve seen. They certainly deserve a whole lot more attention than they generally receive.
Here’s a prime example.
Notice the text that has been bolded. It’s asking me a question ‘do you want to allow the new version to access the same keychain items (such as passwords) as the previous version?’.
Is it just me, or are the obvious answers to this question either Yes, or No. Yet this dialog box presents me with the options ‘Don’t Change’ or ‘Change All’. To which my immediate response is… Change What?! I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Let’s ignore the fact that, hypothetically, I have pretty much no idea of what a keychain item might be, the next line of text reassuringly tells me that whatever option I end up guessing at is permanent and affects all keychain items used by Adium.
OK. So here’s what I know… whatever choice I make here is pretty important and not able to be undone… and yet I know little about what the question is and pretty much nothing about what the options represent.
Not a pretty situation considering I was just installing an update to my IM application.
Potentially enough for me to bail and go install another application instead? Maybe.
It’s in the details people.
[Note: Yes, I’ve heard that Adium is the best IM client for Mac. I’m sticking with it for the time being.]
[Another quick note: how much do I *hate* the way that Mac software uses that little triangle on it’s side to represent ‘if you click here, a whole stack of functionality that you *really* need but have no idea where it is, will be revealed. Who thought *that* was a good idea? It has caused me grief over the past couple of weeks… even *after* I learned its meaning. End of moaning.]