Common actions frequently appear across different components and workflows. For platform consistency, these actions should only be applied in the ways described below.
Add inserts an existing object to a list, set, or system. For example, adding a document to a folder.
Hierarchy and placement
Depending on the importance of the add action on the page, the emphasis can be high, medium, or low. For example, a high emphasis action should use a single primary button with all others being secondary.
Small adjustments in your messaging will reduce user uncertainty. Consider the following:
- What are the implications of the add action for the user? Are there financial, access, or legal considerations?
- Does the user have the correct permissions for this action?
- Is the action permanent?
- What timeframe will the action take (seconds, minutes, hours, days)?
- What should a user do if the action fails?
- Is this a single or bulk action?
Cancel stops the current action and closes the component or item. Warn the user of any negative consequences if the process doesn’t progress, such as data corruption or data loss.
Use a secondary button or a link for cancel actions.
Clear removes data from a field or removes selections. Clear can also delete the contents of a document, such as a log. For controls that have a default selection or value, such as radio buttons, the default selection or value is reset.
close icon on the right side of a field, item, or value.
Close terminates the current page, window, or menu. Close is also used to dismiss information, such as notifications.
close icon, which is typically placed on the upper right side of the
element. Do not use close in a button.
Copy creates a new identical instance of the selected object(s).
copy icon with a confirmation “copied” tooltip appearing post-click or
Delete destroys an object. Delete actions cannot be easily undone and are
typically permanent. Warn the user of any negative consequences if an object is
destroyed, such as loss of data. Use either the
trash can icon, a
danger button, or a danger option in a menu. A danger modal is used when a
warning is needed to confirm an action.
Use when it’s trivial to undo deletion or recreate the data. Delete the data upon click or tap without further warning.
Use when an action cannot be undone or the data cannot be recreated easily. This pattern is also useful if you’re deleting more than one thing.
Ask for confirmation of the delete, with guidance about what will occur if they delete.
Use when it would be very expensive or time-consuming to recreate data. Also use if the action deletes a large amount of data, or if other important items would be deleted as a result of the action.
In addition to presenting a dialog, have the user type the name of the resource they are deleting (manual confirmation).
After the user deletes data, return to the page that lists the data deleted. Animate the removal of the data from the list or page and present a success notification.
If the deletion fails, raise a notification to tell the user that deletion failed. Send a second notification on another communication channel, like email, if possible. Animate the data back onto the page if possible.
Edit allows data or values to be changed. Edit commonly triggers a state change to the targeted object or input item.
Offer edit as an option in a menu, or as a button or
Errors occur when an action or process does not succeed. Error notifications can occupy full pages, form fields, notifications, and modals. Error notifications should provide context of what happened and a clear path to continue.