19

The 'edit' button is disabled for an item:

  • It is disabled because the user doesn't have permissions to edit the item.
  • If they want to edit it, they have to either ask for permission from the owner or start afresh by creating their own item.
  • The user will be used to seeing the 'edit' button enabled for other pages that they have edit rights to, so the design needs to be consistent with such items.

Which of these 3 ways do you think is the most appropriate for this situation? In all these options, the reason and steps to make it editable will be shown on hover/click.

Edit: Can you also suggest how your answer would be different if the 'permission request' feature can't be implemented right now, and the only way they can make that edit is by telling the owner to do it (even if this communication will need to happen outside the app)?

3 options to show the disabled button

  • 8
    Thing all of these examples do, which makes it unobvious to my eye is fail to grey the icon. Remove the colour completely to indicate disabling. – Jack Aidley Mar 29 '17 at 12:49
  • For the record, the above solution is what Stack Exchange uses to disable the Edit button when a user has amassed 5 pending edits. – Hashim Mar 30 '17 at 4:02
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    I like the middle one (particularly in @Runnick's form). However, if you feel there's a need for a wordier explanation, don't just show this on hover; show it in a pop-up on click so mobile/tablet users can see it as well. – TripeHound Mar 30 '17 at 7:17
  • Don't show it at all. If the user has to kind-of become a different user to edit the item, the current user shouldn't be shown the option at all. If the item is non-editable for some reason, then the edit button should be shown in some greyed-out form. – user207421 Mar 30 '17 at 9:26
  • @EJP I think it's a (pun intended) bit of a grey area... if a user has no chance of performing an action (an optional module is not installed, they are never going to be given permission to do so etc.) then certainly don't show it. If, something about the current state of an item means it can't currently be actioned, then show it greyed. Between those two extremes... here, where the user can ask for permission to edit, to me it makes more sense to show it greyed, and/or as "ask for permission". – TripeHound Mar 31 '17 at 10:55
18

If they want to edit it, they have to either ask for permission from the owner or start afresh by creating their own item.

If I understand it correctly, the only way to edit a particular item is to ask the owner of the item for permission (the other choice does not apply to the item in question).

Why not write it instead of showing a disabled edit button? In this case you would have:

  • Edit this page
  • Request permission to edit this page
  • Sign up to edit this page

The last one would be a generic message for an anonymous (not logged in) user. Emphasized text is the link to a respective page where the user can take immediate action - assuring smooth user actions.

Following your edit:

The Request permission could open a "private message" dialogue to the respective user with some predefined message text containing the links to the page and the user ID, who is requesting the privilege.

  • Thanks Mike, that was helpful. As you mentioned, the 3rd option is not really applicable for this item, but since their end goal is to create a page with specific content, we're just suggesting it to them.. Can you please also suggest what you'd do if the 'permission request' feature can't be implemented right now, and the only way they can make that edit is by telling the owner to do it? (even this communication will need to happen outside) In any case, do you think the benefits of avoiding the disabled button altogether outweigh the cost of inconsistency? – Saurabh Mar 29 '17 at 10:39
  • See my edit. What do you mean by "communication happening outside"? – Mike Mar 29 '17 at 10:42
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    I mean the app won't even have the 'messaging' functionality. We'll only be able to say something like : "Only Mike can edit this page. You can tell them to edit it. You can also start afresh and create your own page with the content you want." – Saurabh Mar 29 '17 at 10:44
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    In this case I'd rather show the edit button only to the author of the page. All other users should see "contact the author concerning this page" or "suggest changes to the author" leading to some means of user communication. Don't mislead the users - in the end (in the current implementation) they won't be able to edit the page anyway, will they? – Mike Mar 29 '17 at 11:02
  • I also liked this because the when the user is used to using this interface, he will just click on the 'request for edit' button when it is implemented, or just know that it not editable. The help information will be too verbose and would be helpful only in initial few times. – Harshal Mar 29 '17 at 11:23
14

I would do something like

enter image description here

Preview: I think play is not common and clear icon for preview. Eye / magnifying glass is a bit better, but still not perfect.

Disabled button: you shouldn't hide actions behind covers / clicks; you can present it immediately. Wording and spacing might need adjustment (in your example I would also put icons closer to the button text).

Also this page in your example can be removed in my opinion: preview | edit is sufficient.

Bonus: you may want to align text with the heading

enter image description here

Bonus 2: Try designing with real content if possible.

  • Thanks, I enjoyed reading your response :) Can you please also suggest what you'd do if the 'permission request' feature can't be implemented right now & the only way they can make that edit is by telling the owner to do it? (even this communication happens outside) There's also the third option of creating a new item. It's not really applicable for this specific item, but since their end goal is to create a page with specific content, we're just suggesting it to them. In any case, Do you think the benefits of avoiding the disabled button altogether outweigh the cost of inconsistency? – Saurabh Mar 29 '17 at 10:36
  • I think the button can then be reworded as ”Suggest edits” with some explanation. Not sure I understand how “new item“ would work. Alternatively you can think about a third-party solution (I'm facing a similar problem myself and considering Google Docs for suggesting edits; GitHub with pull requests can also work depending on audience). As for removing button I'd say no. You can learn much from it, maybe no one will use it or everybody will suddenly want to edit. From there you can choose the direction. – Runnick Mar 29 '17 at 13:23
4

The better way to show under the conditions mentioned in your problem is to keep the edit button enabled. Do not Disable it. Let users click it. If the user has enough permissions, they will get to the task of the editing page.

  • For users not having enough privileges, open a modal asking them for seeking permission for editing.
  • For another part of the problem, if the request permission is not implemented, open a pop-up which allows the user to write down the EDITS and SEND TO AUTHOR.

A detailed flow is shown for the above cases. Hope that helps. enter image description here

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