Don't Get Cancelled By Accident

Post by 
Roshan Vinod
July 27, 2020

ith "Cancel Culture" gaining momentum, how do UX designers save quick-to-cancel users from having cancel regrets?

(Side Game: How many times do you think we will use “cancel” in this article? Answer is at the end.)

Our Tips

  1. Use Thoughtful Wording
  2. Use The Right Color
  3. Check With Your User

Use Thoughtful Wording

To a user, “cancel” buttons can have many different meanings, like close window, go back, undo action, continue without taking an action, or cancel subscription.

  • Do: Use clear wording that indicates exactly what will happen when they click the button
  • Don’t: Use generic “cancel” buttons or similar wording if you’re trying to give two options like “Do Not Cancel” and “Cancel" (Instead use something like “Keep Plan” and “Cancel Subscription”)

Use The Right Color

If the purpose of your “cancel” button is to escape from an action, use a neutral color so that users easily realise it is not a call-to-action button.

  • Do: Use a neutral color for your buttons that indicate a dismissive behavior like “Go Back” or “Not Now”
  • Don’t: Use a neutral color that is too light that it looks like it’s in a disabled state so users don’t realise it’s a clickable option

Check With Your User

No matter what, accidentally button presses or confusion will still happen. Make sure to double-check with your user if your “cancel” button has consequences like ending a subscription or exiting out of a page without saving their progress.

  • Do: Use clear wording that asks the user to confirm the action that will occur and give them an option to abandon that action
  • Don’t: Include desperate messages for those that do just want to complete the action

What did you think of this article? Let us know, we’re always looking to improve.

(Different forms of “cancel" were used 19 times in this article. Tell us what you guessed on social!)


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