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I am redesigning an app from scratch, and have a little dilemma on the UX behind updating page information/editing page information.

The information can range from profile settings to user pages to program pages. In the end I am looking to define a paradigm that can be used consistently on all pages.

Choices:

1. Separate View and Edit Page I certainly don't want to do a separate View & Update page where a user selects update, then is taken to an "update page" makes the edits, hits save and then is taken back to the view page.

2. Inline editing Where you click or double-click the field you want to change, change the information and hit enter to save.

3. View/Update hybrid page Where you use 1 page, hit edit, that page turns into the edit mode, make your edits and hit save.

I'm leaning toward the 3rd option, because the UX is easy for the user to understand. Select edit, make your edits, then save your edits.

I'm wondering if anyone knows of a better way to handle editing of page information? Or if what I am thinking is a good paradigm.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 0 down vote accepted
  • Choose option 1 if the site includes 'easy' data. For example simple text, a comment, or anything public

  • Choose option 3 if you don't want user to modify page elements accidentially. For example in an accounting program I would definitely use option 3, but in a simple notepad app (especially on mobile), would definitely choose option 1.

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Thanks Roland -- great thoughts. Some of the information is a little sensitive, so I think option 3 might be the way to go. I agree with the thinking behind option 1, I'm just trying to limit the amount of clicks and pages a user needs to go through. Thanks for your help. –  Destructo Apr 18 '12 at 14:58

What's stopping you having just an edit page?

The page is displayed and the user can change any value they're allowed to - all text boxes are enabled. To save the changes the user hits the "Save" icon.

If they navigate away all changes are discarded, though you might want to consider a message along the lines of:

There are unsaved changes. Do you wish to save now?

This means that if the user thought that they just wanted to view the data but now realise they want to edit it, they don't have to do anything special to get into edit mode.

The main drawback with this is that they could change something inadvertently, and even though "Save" is an explicit action still hit that accidentally as well. If the data is "sensitive" in any way then having an explicit "go into edit mode" button is actually a good idea.

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Hi Chris -- I guess nothing is really stopping me from having all pages go into an edit mode. I think I am uneasy with having all the information active and editable without having the user specify that this is the action they want. I think you and Roland are both saying the "select edit" is a good paradigm. Thanks! –  Destructo Apr 18 '12 at 14:55

I'm responding to @ChrisF's point.

I think that a reason to list out all of the users's information (instead of showing the editable fields) off the bat would be if it's more important for the user to see the information lumped together, and there's a lot of information/sections on the page that they would have to quickly navigate through.

For example, let's say the settings page shows:

  • my name
  • billing address
  • phone number
  • cc number
  • personal clothing sizes (tops, bottoms, dresses, skirts, shoes, etc)
  • delivery address and options
  • other opt in info

I think having all those text fields/dropdowns/radiobuttons/checkboxes/directions could be overwhelming for the user. In that case, I'd prefer to see the information clumped together, printed on the screen, with an edit button for each section. Clicking "edit" would enable the appropriate form fields for editing.

I suppose it's a question of ease of edibility (give 'em the form upfront) or ease of reading info (make 'em reveal the form).


I'm chewing on this issue right now. :)

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