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Can we replace the awkward "(click on this box to dismiss)":

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With a universally understood "click me! click me!" OK button:

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Close would work too:

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Clicking anywhere on the box could still dismiss it for those who wish to use it that way. The former is unnecessary clutter and simply detracts from the message. Everyone knows what to do to get rid of a dialog when an OK button is there. You shouldn't have to explain how a user interface element works in the interface itself.

UPDATE:

The new dialog. Looks way better than my mockups:

new dialog

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Can we change the text to "Clicky to Closey"? –  Won't Jan 30 '12 at 22:21
    
@Won't - Click what to close? If clicking anywhere will close the box, I'm all for it, but if you have to click the box, then it should say "click the box". (incidentally, I'm all for it being a "click anywhere to close" action) –  cdeszaq Jan 30 '12 at 22:31
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All I can say is ew. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Jan 30 '12 at 22:38
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Sadly the people here don't appear to love the change! –  Shadow Wizard Feb 14 '13 at 7:46
    
@ShaWizDowArd, I'm just so lazy to hunt some closing buttons or press ESC key. The previous behavior was perfectly slacker-friendly for people like me ;-) –  TLama Feb 14 '13 at 16:58
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I'm marking this [status-completed] because yeah, technically it is. Although we may be making additional changes to that pop-up. It's still a work in progress. –  Anna Lear Feb 15 '13 at 0:40
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3 Answers

I don't support this. The user reads the message once or twice ever and then recognizes it and knows what to do every time after that. I don't see a reason to encourage the user to never have read the message that comes up. If it wasn't at all important, it wouldn't pop up every time.

Besides, it's really easy to click a large box. If you see a button, you think you have to click that button even if the entire box is silently clickable.

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Dialog boxes everywhere have OK buttons that have to be clicked. I don't think it's that difficult. The Close dialog and the Flag dialog on SO have buttons. You have to click them to continue. –  ThinkingStiff Jan 30 '12 at 22:14
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It's easier to click anywhere considering how often it pops up. If users see a button, they will click the button even if they could click elsewhere. It's completely unnecessary. Besides, it could encourage users not to read the messages. –  Justin Satyr Jan 30 '12 at 22:17
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Once you've read the message once, you know exactly what to do from then on. It's hard to say that it's not universally understandable.

Apart from that first time, the only difference is targeting a huge box versus targeting a small box. Huge box wins. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitts's_law

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As I said, clicking anywhere on the box would still dismiss it. It's silly to have to explain how a user interface element works in the user interface. It should be intuitive. –  ThinkingStiff Jan 30 '12 at 22:02
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@ThinkingStiff How is it intuitive to be able to click anywhere to dismiss when there's a button specific to that action? That's just being obscure. –  Matthew Read Jan 30 '12 at 22:03
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The intuitive part was clicking OK, something everyone understands. –  ThinkingStiff Jan 30 '12 at 22:09
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@ThinkingStiff You're going to have to provide some evidence that users are confused by "click on this box to dismiss" if you want anyone to believe it's not being understood. I don't see any actual problem here. –  Matthew Read Jan 30 '12 at 22:14
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Three people I know personally have died reading "(click on this box to dismiss)", but I don't have any conclusive evidence yet. –  ThinkingStiff Jan 30 '12 at 22:38
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Lol, good times. –  Matthew Read Jan 30 '12 at 22:40
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Despite everyone's objections, this has been solved now, almost exactly how I wanted--removing the horribly ugly "(click on this box to dismiss)" and replacing it with something universally understood in UI design (in this case an X button instead of an OK button). The new button is extremely tiny and you have to click it, and not the dialog to close.

I'm guessing everyone will live.

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This is actually incredibly annoying. In 99.9% of cases where one of these boxes is shown, I want it to go away as quickly as possible. Shrinking the target which makes that happen is a step backwards in usability. –  Josh Caswell Feb 14 '13 at 7:43
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I hope you have read this.. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/167508/… –  Krishnabhadra Feb 14 '13 at 7:43
    
@Krishnabhadra Haha! No, just now seeing that. –  ThinkingStiff Feb 14 '13 at 7:45
    
@JoshCaswell The new one looks way better. I don't know why the whole thing can't be clickable. –  ThinkingStiff Feb 14 '13 at 7:46
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Personally I prefer the old style, with a lot more clickable area.. Well choices.. –  Krishnabhadra Feb 14 '13 at 7:47
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It does look better, I agree. I object to the button being the close trigger, as opposed to the entire box. –  Josh Caswell Feb 14 '13 at 7:47
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@JoshCaswell My whole point was that the button only needs to be there to tell a new user "Yes, you can get rid of this. See, click here." For everyone else, you can learn once that the whole thing is clickable and that stupid message doesn't need to be on there. –  ThinkingStiff Feb 14 '13 at 7:49
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Sorry, I don't see the difference you're seeing between an "OK" button that's there all the time and a "(click to close)" that's there all the time. They're both necessary the first time and become clutter immediately after that. –  Josh Caswell Feb 14 '13 at 7:51
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@JoshCaswell Because buttons are a universal, simple, and attractive way to tell everyone familiar with computers "CLICK HERE". They need no explanation. The text is unnecessary and ugly. –  ThinkingStiff Feb 14 '13 at 7:53
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