GUI style guidelines proposal

Steve Mosher steve at
Thu May 28 17:47:14 CEST 2009


  And we put "ok" on the left because we dont want an inadvertant 
consent to a query.
  You put up an "ok" dialog because you want to check that the user is 
sure. and
  you put "ok" on the left so they don't naturally just 'click" on the 
right which means

 Oh.. and my dialogs to send in thunderbird have cancel on the left and 
send on the right.
And if I try to close a mail that hasnt been sent I get "dont save" on 
the far left and Save on
the far right.. It has to do with the expected user behavior. Highest 
probablity  goes to the right.
safest action goes to the right. The left is danger. Sinister. hehe. The 
politics of UI.

 hehe. i love these debates. How's life raster?

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) wrote:
> On Sat, 23 May 2009 10:35:56 -0700 Steve Mosher <steve at> said:
> ever since i can remember, ok on dialogs was left, cancel on the right. the
> order "ok/apply/cancel" is old as the hills (and going left to right, where
> a missing elements just don't appear).
> phones have simply followed this convention. (and as already pointed out,
> backspace is on the right and it "cancels" your previous typing effort... so it
> is consistent with that). note that macos here is the exception - it has ok on
> the right. but windows, amiga, atari-st, ...
>> hehe.
>>   I cannot count the number of times I have hung up on "incoming" 
>> because the cancel button is on the right.
>>  From one perspective "go" or initiate buttons should be on the right
>> where the "return" or "enter button" is. But cell phones have it
>> backwards. who knows where these conventions start.. but if I use a
>> key pad to type in a number, then my expectation ( my fingers brain)
>> is that initiating the sequence just entered should be a button on the
>> you point out its a left to right thing..
>> so we issue commands from the right and "escape" is always on the left.
>> I'll say nothing about the etemology of "sinister" in deference to the 
>> left handed folks here.
>> Werner Almesberger wrote:
>>> Joerg Reisenweber wrote:
>>>> It seems at least a de facto standard for cellphones is:
>>>> "green button" (aka OK) LEFT side
>>>> "red button" (aka cancel) RIGHT side
>>> Just out of curiosity, does anyone know where this convention comes
>>> from ? It always struck me as extremely counter-intuitive, at least
>>> as someone who writes from left to right, to have the button that
>>> basically says "go back" on the right side and the one that says
>>> "move on" on the left.
>>> - Werner
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