For questions regarding when or whether to disable certain functions or controls in an interface or how to communicate the disabled state to the user.

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8
votes
3answers
200 views

If there is a known error in a feature should we warn our users or just turn off the feature?

In this example, Facebook Connect (technically Facebook Login) has an open bug that prevents IE8 users from connecting. It send error messages, and it isn't clear to users that the error is with ...
3
votes
6answers
383 views

Why do some webmasters INSIST on having auto-playing music elements on their webpages? [closed]

Is there any positive reason why someone might implement an auto-playing audio feature onto a webpage? I seem to see it all the time, especially on band pages and so on. The frustrating thing is ...
55
votes
6answers
8k views

Don't hide or disable menu items?

In 2008, Joel Spolsky wrote: A long time ago, it became fashionable, even recommended, to disable menu items when they could not be used. Don't do this. Users see the disabled menu item ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

Disable the save button until changes are made?

We have a list of complicated things, which the user can click on to get a new view in which they can edit all the details stored for that thing. The edit view already has a Cancel exit mechanism (...
2
votes
4answers
414 views

Disable combobox with one entry?

Imagine an arbitrary list of items. To execute a command, the user has to select one of these items in a combobox (if there are no items, the combobox is not shown at all). Should the combobox be ...
11
votes
5answers
389 views

Button placement while others ones are invisible/disabled

I have a tool bar of buttons. The state changes every time user interact with it (fig. 1). Fig. 1 Sometimes application allows user to refresh view only, so other buttons are invisible (fig. 2). ...
5
votes
4answers
563 views

Disabled buttons while long running task

My application has a toolbar and a lot of buttons on it. Some buttons start a long running processes(tasks). At this moment every task executes asynchronously to allow user to do something else while ...
5
votes
3answers
281 views

Preventing impossible clicks

I've posted a discussion on MSO with the same title (but the title was changed). It's about disabling elements that can be clicked but lead nowhere. For instance dead links. Currently, the 404 error ...
23
votes
6answers
5k views

Disabled submit button on form vs allow submit then show errors?

We have a few different forms as part of a web-based medical application. These forms have quite a few fields - 10-20 depending on the form. Each has at least 5 or so required fields. We currently ...
4
votes
2answers
96 views

What kind of useful information shall we keep in a closed place page on a reviews site?

I'm making an experience design for a place page, knowing that I am working on a reviews writing and sharing site. If a place in real life is now closed and no longer in service, what kind of ...
4
votes
3answers
300 views

Disabling navigation links in a wizard style interface (but not visually), is this an accepted practice?

While doing research for a current software project, I have come across Ford's car builder web application. It has a wizard style navigation across the top, and disables future links until the first 2 ...
15
votes
6answers
6k views

Hide or disable form options? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Don't hide or disable menu items? On a create/edit form, where the options available to the end user will depend on their previous input, in order to give the user some ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

How to represent an ignore option for a control such as a ListBox

In this application there are several screens that guide a user through filling out criteria meant to complete specific queries. In order to facilitate the selection of multiple items we have created ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

Should disabled options ever be hidden?

Comments from this question prompted me with this other usability proposal. In my opinion, tt's a bad idea to hide disabled options. I like to see all the available options regardless whether some ...
4
votes
4answers
658 views

Dynamic required field validation

Let say we have a form with 50 or so elements. It is a data entry form and is in the format the user is expecting based on standardized industry paperwork. My question is should required fields ...
25
votes
13answers
2k views

Is it better to prevent a forbidden action or display an error/explanation message?

There are multiple examples, so I'll pick a specific one to focus the question. Let's say a user can have specific characteristics (or permissions): Admin, Virtual, External, Financial, etc. To ...