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Generalising between platforms I would go with the following basic guidelines, they further emphasise a disabled field with a grey background. Normal (with a value) Black text, white background, black border. Normal (with a placeholder) Grey text, white background, black border. Disabled Grey text, slightly lighter grey bg, grey border. E.g.


In most cases, forms are made of native elements and the look and feel is therefor (ideally) determined by the operating system. Mac OS has a different way of showing something is disabled if you compare it to windows. Here are two text fields of Windows XP and Mac OS X with native behavior: vs. I would advice you not to change this behavior for several ...


Some things I have seen done before in this scenario: Make placeholder text green instead of grey (user input is in black) Placeholder text is in italics (user input is in normal text) Put angle brackets around text, eg. < your name here >. (This one is somewhat "technical", i.e. something a programmer is more likely to understand) I would suggest ...

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