Where there is the option to upload a single file to a website, what is the most intuitive method of doing this?
There seem to be two obvious options:
- Give the user the location field and 'browse' button where they can specify the specific path of the item
- Just to give them a single Upload button that acts as the browse one in the first example.
The first example seems to be the most commonplace, but is it actually necessary? Do many people actually paste in the file location into this field and then choose Upload, or (as I suspect) is the 'Browse' button itself the most commonly used route, thereby removing the need for the field entry?
I also suspect that having both a Browse and an Upload button available may cause additional confusion as to which button to use (i.e. user may not know the file location immediately so providing the field first may put them off even trying "I don't know what to type in that field..." Also, if they do paste the file location into the field what is the instinctive next action - do you press 'Browse' or 'Upload'?)
So basically, my question is: Why do file upload options give the ability to paste in a file location when a single upload button would take care of both browse and upload in one action?
Interestingly, Imgur uses both options. imgur.com directly has the upload button, but uploading an image to imgur via UX.SE provided the 'Browse' version.