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I want to keep the pages really clean, so I don't want a button for every feature ("Share this", "Upload", "Edit", etc... pretty soon the page will be covered in buttons). However, I can't think of a way to do this without some sort of "share" button. Any precedent on this that I'm missing? Or should I give up and just use a button?

(I'd like to be able to have pages be sharable in a similar way to Google Documents: you can add owners, editors, and viewers.)

Edit: the application is basically a drawing website. The user has a canvas and adds stuff to it. I want multiple users to be able to share the same canvas.

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Could you please clarify what your UI is for? I am not sure I understand the question. Is it some type of blog page? If yes, there can be an "Edit" control that changes the view to an editable mode. Or you can make the areas editable inline (user clicks the value and it becomes editable); approach often used on google. –  Anna Rouben Aug 23 '12 at 21:28
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Agree with Anna; don't suppose you could post a wireframe of what you're currently thinking and why it doesn't work? See also UI for Access Control List (ACL). –  Ben Brocka Aug 23 '12 at 21:35
    
Added a description of the app, don't have a wireframe on this machine (sorry). @Ben: thanks for the link, but I'm looking for how users should get to the ACL dialog, not what the dialog should look like once they're there. Does that make sense? –  kristina Aug 23 '12 at 21:42
    
@Anna: that's exactly what I'm doing for editable content, I'm trying to figure out if I can get rid of all the other buttons in similar ways :) –  kristina Aug 23 '12 at 21:43

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I want multiple users to be able to share the same canvas

Assuming we're talking about realtime collaborative editing, a list of users with access to the document (and their associated colors?) seems to me like something that you naturally would have built into your UI already.

An "add collaborators" button (yap, a button, sorry) at the bottom of such an area would seem like a good spot to me, context-wise.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

For changing users' permissions, a contextual menu when clicking on a username on the aforementioned list would probably be an intuitive solution.

mockup

download bmml source

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Thank you, perfect! –  kristina Aug 24 '12 at 13:18
    
@kristina Glad I could help – would love to see the final mockup some day ;) –  vzwick Aug 24 '12 at 13:28

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