We would like to use top aligned fields for our form page, wherein the label text is in bold and the input text, normal (not sure if this is the best scenario). In edit mode, this works fine. The same page will be seen as a view only page at a later stage. We would like to retain the same consistent look for the view only page. Have you come across any good practice, hygienic way of doing this? Any critical points we missing here?

  • Are you saying that the form looks exactly the same whether it's in view or edit mode? Do you have any mockups or screenshots? – Patrick McElhaney Sep 15 '11 at 16:57
  • the view and edit do not have to be exact copy. Its just the same grouping and format may be good to retain, so that user is in a familiar context when they revisit the page in view mode. Unfortunately i couldn't post an image since it asked for some point system. – SAJ Sep 20 '11 at 16:51

If the people who enter the data will also be viewing it read-only, it makes sense that they will have an easier time consuming the data if the layouts for both are similar.

This is assuming that the read-only data shouldn't be in a table instead.

I like to push for labels being above their form fields because they are easier to read & use.

  • Great research link! – Ben Brocka Oct 13 '11 at 16:41

bold emphasises text and shows it as being more important than other non-emphasised text. Do you really want to show that the label is more important than the content? When you're filling in a form which is blank, I would say that the labels are worth emphasising, but if you want the same look and feel in view and edit modes, then you should look at other options.

Consider using something like mobile forms which handle it very well. It should be sufficient to change the background colour of a field to show that it is editable when you are in an edit view or change the border colour.

  • Thanks John. I agree in view mode, the labels shouldn't be bold. My query is specifically if the value is entered in second line in edit mode and in view mode if the label and value is aligned in same line will it be too much of a inconsistency, specially if the form page is long and two column. – SAJ Sep 20 '11 at 16:55

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