I have a list of photos where the user is able to edit or delete each photo. Once you click edit (where they can change title/description), should I also allow users to delete the photo?

  • If the users meant to delete instead of edit they would need to go back a page to delete it.
  • If the delete is there the user might edit the details of the photo and mistakenly press delete instead of the Update button.

Edit: I think there is some confusion, I do have the delete button on the list, my question is if I should also have the delete as part of the edit functionality

  • Do you think the user will want to delete from the edit screen? Won't this be a small amount of cases?
    – Alvaro
    Feb 9, 2017 at 11:25
  • that's my question precisely :) Feb 9, 2017 at 13:31
  • 1
    Delete sure is unintuitive. Natural objects do not get 'saved' or 'deleted', they are not transient. Given, this, dragging to a trash can seems more like how the real world works. You don't even need a confirmation: if the user realizes they dropped it in the trash, they go get it back out of the trash. I finally understand this common idiom! (I learned about computers long before windows and trash can icons, so I had no doubts about what 'delete' meant. Or 'save' for that matter. "A computer's attention span is only as long as its power cord.")
    – user67695
    Feb 9, 2017 at 17:49
  • 1
    Just an example of when you can delete from inside the edit screen, iOS apps including the Mail app and many more I think you have to Edit in the nav bar then you can select and delete emails. I think it makes sense in order to save space but not sure if it's the best way.
    – DasBeasto
    Feb 9, 2017 at 20:33
  • @DasBeasto very interesting, didn't thought of that. Is that the only way to delete (from the list view) or is it an extra way to do so?
    – Alvaro
    Feb 9, 2017 at 23:59

5 Answers 5


My suggestion would be to incorporate an independent delete functionality instead of hiding it inside the edit functionality. The reason to do so would be:

a. Deletion is not the same as updating the information of an item. And hence, pushing the deletion feature would lead to confusion at the users' end, since they would not intuitively anticipate to find the option to delete a photograph within the edit dialog.

b. If you push the delete option within the edit dialog, the user would be bound to delete one photograph at a time through the tedious process of open context menu > edit photo > delete photo. Also, what if later, in order to enhance usability, you decide to incorporate a feature that lets you to select multiple photos and delete them all at once?

Lemme know in case you come across some other concerns regarding my suggestion. Cheers!

  • I've edit the question as I think it wasn't clear, I currently do have the delete on the list Feb 9, 2017 at 10:59
  • Just checked your edit to the question. I guess since you have anyway incorporated the delete functionality as an independent entity, adding it as a part of edit dialog would just be a redundant feature. And considering the same, point a of my answer still holds true.
    – ikartik90
    Feb 9, 2017 at 11:13

No, I don't think it is a good idea! It is confusing.

If a user wants to delete a photo, it is not obvious to press the edit button. If you want to have a single button, the name should be "Settings" with "Edit" and "Delete" as options.

For me, delete is not related to "edit functionality". Delete the updates is ok, cancel the updates also, but delete the photos is a confusing action there.

  • good suggestion about a single button Feb 10, 2017 at 13:41
  • @TalyEmmanuela I'm glad if this helps. Feb 10, 2017 at 13:46

In my opinion it should not.

When your user views an item he can:

  • Remove it
  • Modify it

Each of this actions has a different purpose. When the user decides to modify the element he has the specific purpose of modifying it, through the corresponding view and tools. If there was a Remove button inside this view, the user might wonder "Does the button Remove the modifications made?" "Does it Remove the edit capacity?".

The point is that with the good intention of making things "easier" by placing the buttons more "convenient" (having the action available inside the edit view also), you might end up making things more "complicated". This might result in undesired actions and extra actions.


I believe this is simply two ways to achieve the same thing.

By "hiding" the delete button under the edit functionality, you are forcing the user to make a choice to focus on that one image for editing, whether that includes deletion or not.

If you have a dedicated delete button as well as an edit button, it stands to reason that you'd include some form of confirmation to minimise mistaken deletions.

The latter works better, IMHO, than the first as hiding the delete button under the edit could be confusing to new users who simply want to delete and cannot location that functionality.

  • I've edit the question as I think it wasn't clear, I currently do have the delete on the list Feb 9, 2017 at 11:03

In relation to images and photography, they are normally personal, sensitive and irreplaceable.

I would suggest putting a delete action in the edit view and using a confirmation modal or alert on the action since this is a destructive event.

Users that want to delete an image from the list view can follow the edit view, or select multiple list items, either way it's good practice to use confirmation modals.

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