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I am designing an an internal company application where uploads must be added to the user. I originally started with a simple form, but noticed that the number of clicks could be cut down for the user using a fake button approach.

I came up with this:

Upload Form

When you click the Add Attachments button the file-chooser dialog comes right up and once you select the file the form will automatically submit. Now, there are a couple concerns I have about this approach and how it may effect how user-friendly it is.

  1. In Internet Explorer 10 a double click seems to be required so:
    1. Would it be better to use a standard form?
    2. Could the wording possibly be changed to imply a double click?
  2. Even if it is single click, does it make it harder to use because it isn't expected?

Note: When I say fake button current web standards do not allow for styling of the button of the file input. So, this is just another element behind an opaque tag mixed with javascript to give it the look of being a button.

Also, IE is almost the exclusive browser in the company as it is the default installed unless they are using a Mac.

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Can you explain a bit what you mean by fake button approach? Also, your 2nd question is a bit unclear to me (negative effect of single click). –  rk. Jun 19 '13 at 17:18
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

People are used to buttons that trigger actions in software applications. However, I see two problems:

  1. The user needs confirmation that the file was uploaded, otherwise they will feel nothing happened

  2. If the file they selected is the incorrect one, the user will panic and close the browser. It's very easy to select the wrong file. The alternative is to maybe pop up an alert - "Uploading file.jpg" Continue / Cancel

or display a message next to the attachment. i.e.

[file.jpg] / Remove / Send /

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If the application is to be used within your company, then you can probably decide whether IE is to be used extensively by the user or not. If yes, then it is better to have clear conventions about single and double click actions. Also you can use the form approach.

If it's not, then you can use the button approach to cut down the number of clicks. It will not affect User Experience.

Hope this may help you.

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