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Yes/No Dialogs

MPT has long hated Yes/No dialogs, and I must throw my hat in the ring. On the Mac, developers typically do a good job of applying the HIGs (which, in part, state that you should use a verb for button titles). Entourage, it seems, doesn't:


This is the worst dialog box I've seen in a while. Instead of saying "emails" it calls them "items." Instead of having "Open" and "Don't Open" buttons, they say "Yes" and "No." Instead of telling me why it's warning me (i.e. what the downside to opening 19 "items" may be), it tells me nothing. The dialog box would be three hundred percent better if it said:

You are trying to open 19 emails. Doing so may cause one heckuva mess. Are you sure you'd like to open them? (Don't Open) [Open 'Em]

But hey, that's just wishful thinking. 🙂

5 Responses to "Yes/No Dialogs"

  1. Yeah, why can't dialogs and warnings be written in language understandable for the novice user? It should talk to *you*, the user and not try and sound so sophisticated that it's confusing.

  2. What? Microsoft having bad UI and going against the HIG? Say it ain't so!

  3. nevermind that, why can't I *tab* to the answer that is (almost always) incorrectly highlighted?

  4. Because you can have a window with more than just email messages.

    If you get jiggy with custom views, you can have things that aren't email. So, 'items' is the better term to use.


  5. John, I disagree. Why? Because I was only opening emails. Thus, it should have said "emails." If I was opening different kinds of documents, "items" would be fine. However, the ways in which a user can open more than one type of "item" at once in Entourage are very few and far between. The system should use the exact terms when possible.