Take the 2-minute tour ×
User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am building the following iPad UI, and it includes a "tap-to-edit" feature:

Tap to edit text

I personally like this type of UX - I like UIs where a user can interact directly with a document. However, I'm concerned that users who are less familiar with common touchscreen gestures will not be able to tell just by looking at the screen that they are indeed able to tap on that particular area of text to edit it.

Assuming "tap-to-edit" is good UX, I think there are three ways that I can "teach" my users about this feature:

  1. When a user creates a new document, have that text area set to some placeholder that indicates you can tap on the text to edit it (i.e., "Tap on this text to edit it").
  2. When a user creates a new document for the very first time, popup some sort of tip that will fade away that indicates they can tap the text to edit it.
  3. Include a "help" button somewhere on the top toolbar that, when pressed, would display a translucent help "infographic" that would highlight allowed user interactions on the screen.

What do you guys think? Should I ditch the tap-to-edit feature altogether, or should I go with one of the above options? (I should mention, option #1 is my favorite option so far - but I'm not convinced).

share|improve this question
3  
Take a look at how popular apps like Pages do this. I've seen dotted lines used to indicate that a heading is editable for example –  Ben Brocka Jan 1 '12 at 18:04
    
How many inputs do you have at any one time? If it's only one I have a cheap solution. –  Knu Jan 1 '12 at 22:08
    
@BenBrocka I am somewhat modeling this after Pages - I'll definitely consider that, I like that. –  unforgiven3 Jan 1 '12 at 22:27
    
@Knu should be only 1 input at a time. What is your suggestion? –  unforgiven3 Jan 1 '12 at 22:28
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

What's wrong with doing all 3 ?! I am strong fan of appealing to different kinds of intuitions when guiding people.

share|improve this answer
    
I didn't think about that. I see no reason why not - I think the extra work is worth it, in terms of users being comfortable with/understanding how to use the product! –  unforgiven3 Jan 1 '12 at 16:32
1  
Perhaps more important to note is that none of the 3 provide particularly much annoyance to the user; at worst you present a useless "click to edit" message once to a user who already gets it. –  Ben Brocka Jan 1 '12 at 18:05
    
@BenBrocka that is a very good point. I certainly do no t mind when software (quietly) reminds me how to do something - in fact, StackExchange does so quite frequently, but I never really consider it to be too annoying. –  unforgiven3 Jan 1 '12 at 22:29
add comment

If I were you Id just add a (fake) blinking caret (vertical bar or underscore) after the editable text the first 5 times it's displayed (per user).
It will be immediately obvious and noticed. Of course it must be avoided if there are multiple inputs at once: you can't have multiple inputs focused (unless you want to type simultaneously the same text on all inputs).

That also means that if that input comes after the fold, you will have to wait until it comes into view for it to be focused. The technical aspect would be off topic […]. In short on an iPad it won't be a problem since the keyboard won't show up until they tap: they can't start typing right away when they see the |.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.