My company has a history of making pages which start out un-editable, and then only become editable after the user clicks an "Edit" button. On the first such page like this that made a lot of sense, because the non-editable version of the page also hid all of the un-filled parts of the form. On subsequent pages however, we don't have any such hiding, so the whole "edit button" paradigm seems pointless to me.
As far as I can tell, the only advantage of this style (vs. just starting with an editable form) is that it prevents the following scenario:
- user arrives at form
- user accidentally changes some information without realizing it
- user accidentally clicks save
and it seems to me that that scenario is rare enough that we shouldn't have to make every other user go through an extra button click (and the extra cognitive effort to find that button on the page).
Am I missing something? Is there a case to be made for the "edit button" that I don't see? Or if not, is there any chance anyone can point me to arguments against such a button (that I can then share with my co-workers)?