I am currently designing an interface for managing user accounts in a web application.
Essentially, in this interface, the user should be able to edit an account's profile, disable/enable/close the account, change the password, manage the account's user group and roles among other things.
I have seen interfaces where all editables are fields and there is one submit button. If fields are not to be updated, for example passwords, then the user is to leave them blank before submitting the form. One such example is wordpress:
Another approach is to split the different functions into separate forms for each discrete area, which is the approach used by facebook:
Which approach is better and easier to use? Currently, I am leaning towards the separate forms approach because I feel that the "leave the password blank if you do not want to update it" can be somewhat confusing to users who are not good with technology.
On the other hand, the 1 form approach is obviously quicker to fill in, although I think this approach is more prominient in applications created a long time ago.
Is the first approach (1 form) obsolete? Should I use seperate forms?