I'm working on an App where users can see or edit an image. My question is about user permissions and what to show to the user.

Users can have view only or view and edit permissions.

I have 3 options when a user does not have permission to edit:

  • completely hide the edit button
  • disable the edit button
  • let the user hit the edit button and then show a message 'you don't have permissions to edit, please ask someone to give you edit permissions'

Regarding usability, which of these options is the most correct?

  • Is there any provision in your app wherein user can ask for edit access?
    – NB4
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 11:22
  • Is the edit a paid feature? Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 12:24

4 Answers 4


The third one.

  • It shows your user there is a functionality like that. But as mentioned by Fresheyeball, If you make the button look active (not disabled), users are more likely to click on the button and get the information they need.
  • It explains why it is not accessible.
  • It suggest actions to make it accessible.

It can't get more straightforward.


A little more context would be helpful.

"ask someone to give you edit permissions" is rather vague. Who do I have to ask? Anyone?

If the user can easily acquire these permissions, tell him.


The way I've solved this in several applications is to disable the button but with a way for the user to discover why it's disabled.

One way is a tooltip that says "You don't have permission to edit this image" (or similar); another is to show a tiny info icon that gives them the information when pressed. I used one like this, but (IIRC) just 18x18 pixels:

info icon

Disabling the button gives immediate feedback that the user can't do the action. My experience is that leaving the button active, but with an error message when pressed, is a bit of a bait-and-switch. You useres will try it multiple times and get frustrated.


It has possible three use cases

  1. If the user have the permissions than show edit button

  2. If User has of access to view then a button for asking for Access/permission

  3. Or if the application gives him access only by creating account on the portal then a message will appear to create account.

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