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A better Quit Button

20120810 (2012 August 10 Friday)


Quit buttons are a pain. If they just quit when I hit it, then I am angry. If it asks me if I am sure, then I am angry.

Here is a proposal for a quit button that can be used by a 5 year old, possibly younger.

What is it

The button must be large enough for the skill/age of the user. When a user presses the close button, feed back must be given that the program is shutting down. Sound & vision: screen fading, shutting down sound (but no questions). If the user releases the button before this process ends(2-3 seconds) the program will restore it self (not exit). If the button is still pressed at end of sequence, then the program ends.

Ideas for custom shutdowns

  • Balloon deflating with sound.
  • Engine spinning down sound.
  • Fade to black with bed time music.
  • Funeral march.
  • Bomb.

These effects are now in modern compositing window managers, so adding this rule would not be difficult.

Also consider: Desktop Level Undo, Close to a Migrating Icon, Don’t Turn Off the On/Off Switch, Persistent Applications, Always Safe (no need to save).

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