Which is the best design practice for edit data in RIA, for example in Flex or Silverlight?

I would like to show customer's details, but there will be an edit window, than the datas of customer will be editable.

I would like to show a new form where the data can be edited. What is the simplest way to show this form. I can make my ui tabbed, so I can open the form in a new tab, or I can open the form in a popup/modal dialog (Save-cancel). Maybe I can use in line editing.

What is the most user friendly solution in a Silverlight or Flex GUI? What is your opinion?

  • is your data displayed in a grid or form view?
    – Jeremy
    Feb 26, 2011 at 18:34
  • Displayed in master-details. But in details I don't want to use textboxes, only just show informations...
    – user3937
    Feb 26, 2011 at 19:54

3 Answers 3


I think I would go with inline editing, with either a hover button on each row switching it to Edit mode, or a big static button switching the entire screen to Edit mode and back.


Why use an explicit edit window? The most direct way for a user to edit data is to just modify it, where they see some editing is needed. This means that all the modifiable fields are 'in edit mode' all the time. If this isn't possible for whatever reasons, Vitaly's suggestions about edit mode are good. You shouldn't, however, to let controls' visual style (textbox vs. plain text field) to overrule usability decisions.

When edit-in-place is combined with autosave, users can concentrate purely on the data and process and don't need to think about the editing controls and the UI. When the data is more critical, provide explicit undo functionality to get the old data back.


Another vote for edit-in-place. A new tab as an editing view works against the usual way that tabs are used to organize a workspace. To put it another way, having tabs jumping in and out of view based on a edit or reading modes is likely to cause trouble for some people.

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