I'm currently working on a project where users can upload media to a website. This website will display media in a playlist format. See image below.
When uploading media users have a few properties they can fill out:
- Title (text)
- Description (text)
- User access (selector)
- Tags (text)
These are all optional. The only requirement is the uploaded media. In a worse case scenario users can put a video on their website without a title, no description, accessible by nobody and no tags.
That's fine from a technical perspective. It does not matter if there's a title or not. However, from a designer's point of view it's not what I want. When no properties have been set, the media on the website looks inconsistent and (I'm just going to say it) ugly.
My question is; what's the best way to balance user freedom to enter (or not enter) whatever they want as media properties and requirements to have a better experience and look and feel afterwards?
I want users to be free to enter properties in the way they want, but I also want the end result to look good. I think users might abort their actions if there are too many requirements.
Now I'm thinking about making the title a requirement to have a consistent playlist view. But this also raises the question if there should be a character limit to the title.
What's a good balance to this? Is there research and what are your experiences?