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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79
votes
12answers
11k views

Should form 'Continue' button be disabled if validation is incomplete?

In forms we often see the 'continue' button inactive until all the required fields are complete: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups Is this actually a help ...
54
votes
10answers
5k views

Refusing a user permission to click a URL

I've been asked to work on a system message on an intranet where by there are various URLs (linking to lists of content) that have permission rights attached to them, so only certain users have access ...
54
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 ...
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 ...
23
votes
7answers
3k views

Greyed-Out vs Invisible

What is a good criterion or rule-of-thumb for determining when a control should be greyed-out and when should it be completely invisible?
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 ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Do disabled buttons still need to be contrast compliant for accessibility?

Very related to this question: Accessible Disabled State but that is about how to style disabled buttons to make them accessibility compliant, but my question is slightly different. Is it actually an ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Placeholder text vs. disabled text

I currently develop some forms in a desktop application. There is the idea to use placeholder texts in some input fields (edits) as known from HTML forms or touch systems like smartphones. But ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Inactive State of buttons, to hide or not to hide…that is the question

On a windows based LOB application for data capturing. Is it better to hide a button completely when it is inactive, or simply show a disabled state for the button.
11
votes
5answers
388 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). ...
10
votes
5answers
10k views

Disabling submit-button until the user has completed the form

How do you think about disabling the submit-button until the user has completed the form or the required fields? I find similar questions here on ux.se and somebody answered that the user will think ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
298 views

Should the user be able to press disabled buttons on a touch screen?

I'm designing a touchscreen app and there are certain scenarios when the server cannot be reached, a printer is disabled, etc. that will disable a button (like the print button). My question is: if ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

hide vs disable and redistribute empty space

I have complex UI form dialog with ~12 tabs and want to decide what is best: enable/disable (gray out) fields - classic convention hide/show if not necessary - could be confusing + jumping GUI hide ...
5
votes
4answers
544 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
1answer
172 views

Should user be notified about technically unavailable features?

I'm going to implement a non-essential feature on a website. This feature will not be available for all browsers and, therefore, all users. Should I just hide the button that activates it? Or should ...
5
votes
1answer
147 views

how to represent disabled cells into a table with alternate row color

I'm creating an editable html table with alternate row color with a focused row highlighting . When a cell is clicked, the user can modify its content. Considering all of these, I need to indicate ...
4
votes
5answers
155 views

indicate a “mode” that is not changeable by the user

My deployment app has 2 modes: Local and Remote. The mode used depends on where the app is being launched. Once the app has been launched the user can't change the mode. However I still want to ...
4
votes
4answers
654 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
138 views

Change text on disabled menu entries

If a user hasn't copied anything, would it be a good idea to disable the "Paste" menu entry and replace the text with "Nothing to Paste" instead of just disabling it? Menus aren't always static, ...
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
298 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the best way to display disabled field and text for accessibility color contrast support

I am working on a project which needs to support color contrast accessibility. Currently on our system disabled data is presented as grayed-out, but now we need to support color contrast for ...
4
votes
2answers
195 views

Is there anything wrong with disabling radio buttons, and how would you justify it?

I have a dynamic form consisting of a number of choices, where the user makes a choice at each point using a radio button (toggle implementation of radio button behaviour) Depending on the choice the ...
4
votes
1answer
712 views

disabling the zoom in functionality on an iPad due to fixed navigational elements

I have an iPad-specific website which has had the "zoom-in" feature disabled on it as I have horizontal and vertical fixed navigational elements that I do not want to go out of view. I would like to ...
3
votes
6answers
368 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
238 views

How to tell a customer his/her profile is not allowed to make use of a specific service?

I am facing the following problem: We provide multiple financial services to all sort of profiles (retail & business). Some profiles (reached a certain age and risky profiles) are not allowed to ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Display of disabled input fields

How should an input field appear when it is disabled? One idea is to show 'Disabled' as value within the input field. Is there a better idea to indicate an input text field is disabled? The input box ...
3
votes
2answers
263 views

Should we disable all functions of the website when user's not logged in yet?

It almost depends on which option you decide between: Let users enjoy the web app but as soon as they want to interact, a login form pops up. Hide all interactive buttons until they logged in. I ...
3
votes
2answers
287 views

Should a check box field be disabled or removed from an interface if is it not going to be used? [duplicate]

I have a web page set up wizard that guides a user through several steps to create an object. One of the steps in the wizard requires the users to pick via check boxes a property to their object. ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

What is the best way to present tab with unavailable content?

Windows guidelines are saying that you shouldn't disable tabs, since it doesn't explain why content is unavailable. They recommend hiding/disabling all content inside tab and explaining the reason ...
3
votes
3answers
198 views

Multiple Save Buttons after Editing Information

I keep going back and forth on this issue and wanted to get some other opinions. We have a series of pages within a settings control panel. There are multiple modules within the pages, and each ...
3
votes
4answers
48 views

Disabling command vs error message

In the diagram editor I am developing users can delete most of the nodes in the diagram, except a central node that is treated specially and can't be deleted. To block the user from deleting this node ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

WCAG 2.0 compliance: do I have to support browsers which don't support JavaScript?

WCAG 2.0 has some requirements on robustness: "Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies", but it doesn't ...
3
votes
3answers
448 views

Greying out or hiding information icons

I've seen a lot of posts here about greying out or hiding controls and menu items, but this question is about greying out or hiding informational icons in a selection list. I'm curious on your ...
3
votes
2answers
312 views

Why don't applications explain reason for greyed-out icons/menu options? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Don’t hide or disable menu items? I think applications should explain why an option of clickable icon is greyed-out i.e. not selectable or not active. For example a ...
2
votes
2answers
478 views

Submit button permanently disabled or invisible?

I have an app in which we submit multiple surveys for reporting with one submit button. The only way to undo the action is to unsubmit each individual survey. This would allow the "submit" function to ...
2
votes
5answers
298 views

Does grey always represents disabled condition?

Recently I updated the style of our admin module of a web app. The buttons were redesigned and new colors were introduced for various states. In various sections, I have the small question mark icon, ...
2
votes
4answers
406 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
211 views

De-emphasise text box without making it look disabled

I would like to de-emphasise the contents of the following text fields when one of the dropdowns is selected. I do not want to turn them grey as that would suggest they are disabled. They effectively ...
2
votes
2answers
105 views

What is the best way to demonstrate the value of registration to unlock features?

I'm not sure if I phrased that right, so perhaps my specific case will explain for me. I have buttons for "fave"-ing and marking-as-solved on puzzles in my blog. The users that know the features exist ...
2
votes
1answer
150 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
342 views

How to prevent users from submitting a form with no changes made

I would like to prevent users from being able to submit a form where the selection hasn't been changed from its original state. Example: In the wireframe above, when the user sees this form, the ...
2
votes
3answers
155 views

Should a dropdown have a value (or be visible) when the associated checkbox is unchecked?

We have users that can be assigned to different groups with an associated role on that group. For example, a user may be a "Contributor" on the "Human Resources" group, but an "Admin" on the "How To ...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

How to indicate a disabled core functionality?

How should a certain action be disabled, when the user has run out of necessary permissions to perform that action? Specifically, I am designing a search engine where each search may take up to an ...
1
vote
4answers
151 views

Should my dropdown of recently used items show items I no longer have access to

We are implementing a client for our document management system. Part of this is the checkin screen where one of the fields a user chooses is the folder where the document should be checked into. ...