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In my iPhone app I have a root view with some options, one being a "Camera" option where you can take a photo to send to us. My question is should I either

A: Show it "grayed out"
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or B: Not show it at all
enter image description here

I definitely prefer option A, but I am not an expert in design.

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One question, when has there ever not been a camera on the iPhone? –  Nick Bedford Jun 24 '11 at 5:14
3  
@Nick - iPhone apps can work on iPods and iPads as well, and first gen of both of those were without cameras. –  Charles Boyung Jun 24 '11 at 5:35
    
Oh yes! I forgot about iPod touches and iPads. My mistake. –  Nick Bedford Jun 24 '11 at 5:45
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2 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Option B is better for the user of the device at hand. There's no way that device is going to suddenly get a camera on it, so there really isn't a reason to show the user a function that they will never be able to use.

The reason that people recommend graying out options not currently available is so that a user will know that it is there and they could use it under certain conditions. Since there are no such conditions in this case (their device doesn't have a camera), it doesn't make a lot of sense to show it to them.

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+1 for so there really isn't a reason to show the user a function that they will never be able to use –  pir abdul wakeel Jun 24 '11 at 6:07
    
+1 Agreed. Let's not tease them, just show them what they can do. It would be wrong to disable an option that is restricted by permanent physical constraints with no chance of enabling it ever. –  Matt Rockwell Jun 24 '11 at 11:43
    
Great point. I had a strong preference for the grayed-out item (since the user knows the option exists), but your argument is convincing. –  dbkk Jun 24 '11 at 16:36
    
The upper echelons have me going with option A, which I still like. However this is a good argument against it. But to defend our decision half of the functionality of the app is the camera, if they don't have one its a gentle reminder they should buy a new device (or use our android app, they require a camera ;-) –  Tom Fobear Jun 27 '11 at 13:32
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Option A

enter image description here

enter image description here

Option A is good practice from usability point of view,if you are using window xp or mac. when a hardware is not available, then options related that hardware is often time disabled. so its good practice to keep them disabled when its hardware is not available.

there is an another option with cross mark, few high profile website is using this option for better user experiences and instructions.

Like

See the below option, you can enable the camera with cross mark. and when user click on video icon so there should be some information like camera not found, you should install it from (some where location).

I use rough images for explanation in this answer, you can replace these images with your iphone images.

enter image description here

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Why is it a good practice from a usability point of view? –  Charles Boyung Jun 24 '11 at 5:36
    
which option , A or B, Read the full answer. I use rough images for explanation in this answer, you can replace these images with your iphone images. –  pir abdul wakeel Jun 24 '11 at 5:38
    
@abdul - the option that you said was a good practice; I was essentially quoting what you wrote. You don't give a reason why you believe it is a good practice. –  Charles Boyung Jun 24 '11 at 5:40
    
in option second image there is cross icon used, which show that you can not use camera. and when click then there should be some information . as we are using. its now up to you, how you handle it ... but to be honest we are using like this. –  pir abdul wakeel Jun 24 '11 at 5:40
    
Why is Usibility point of view?. if you are using window xp or mac. when a hardware is not available, then options related that hardware is often time disabled. so its good practice to keep them disabled when its hardware is not available. –  pir abdul wakeel Jun 24 '11 at 5:42
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