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I have a window that's supposed to display screenshot that user has taken. Then they can choose one screenshot and send it further. So I have two button "Close" and "Choose".

But what do I do when that window is empty with no screenshots yet, but the buttons are still there? Should I leave the "Choose" button active and show a pop-up saying "You can't choose a screenshot, because there are no screenshots yet" or something similarly awkward? Or just leave this button active, but with no action behind it?

Or is there any other choice? Could I perhaps just not show the "Choose" button at all until there are any screenshot available?

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If you choose to remove the "choose" button, make sure that the "close" button does not change position. Buttons should not "dance" when a new button is added, they should maintain a consistent location at all times.

Alternatively, you can display the button for "choose", but leave it disabled with the usual "greyed out" look that a disabled button will have. A disabled button can be used to give the user a hint that there is some action that they have to complete before they can continue.

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  • This would be my approach. Best to just disable the "Choose" button, but don't make controls appear and disappear, especially if it means they move arround. That's very annoying. – Steve Jones Feb 17 '18 at 8:30
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Or is there any other choice? Could I perhaps just not show the "Choose" button at all until there are any screenshot available?

This.

Or you could change the button to "take screenshot" for example and when the user hits that button, a screenshot gets added.

Just an example since I don't know how your application works.

Displaying buttons that are useless is just not right.

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You can just open a pop-up modal box, with a button for "add new screenshot" or something which will prompt the user to add screenshots to share. The close for pop up will be in the side.

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Assuming the buttons have to remain: Disabling the button probably doesn't accomplish much because a modal might be necessary anyway, i.e., offering explanation when the disabled button is pushed. Just keep the button active but do a modal explanation when pushed. You could also use the empty space of the screen to add some kind of illustration, explaining the next action.

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