Firstly, I'd like to make a general question regarding table view cells' customization: are there any restrictions about the controls they can cointain, and/or its number? I read in iOS HIG iOS Human Interface Guidelines that "If you want to lay out your table rows in a nonstandard way, it’s better to create a custom table-cell style than to significantly alter a standard one". Can I assume that I'm free to customize the cells in any way I want?

Regarding user input, I've some particular things I'd like to consult, since I couldn't find examples of them:

1) I've a cell that could be filled in either by providing text (UITextField), or by taking a picture. From the point of view of UX, should I display both a text field and a table-view element (detail disclosure button? custom icon?) that will navigate to a camera view when tapped, within the same cell? If not, how could I design the field for this situation?

2) User input validation and required fields. What should be the best way in iOS to tell the user what fields are required? Some of the cells may not have a placeholder text... Maybe something like this: What are the best practices of designing a validation message on an iPhone App?? About validation... I like the way not valid inputs are notified in that post, but if I'm going to have cells with disclosure indicators/checkmarks/whatever on their right side, I guess that placing in addition those validation icons would "overload" the cell...

Thanks in advance

  • Can you put together a quick mock-up to illustrate your questions? – Charles Wesley May 7 '13 at 15:39

I don't know the answer to your first general question, is it a technical concern?

Regarding 1: Since it's an either/or option you shouldn't present UI elements for both text and image selection at once. Instead use some button in each cell that indicates "insertion", like so: adding a phone number

and then show a popup menu action sheet with options for text, camera or camera roll. Like one of these: ios modal menu

Regarding 2: I would steer away from the icons because of the limited space and chance of a user thinking they are interactable. Just design it like it's a big simple web form. Change the background color, the border color, and add a small message under the form field.

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  • Thanks for your answer. I made my first question thinking about the submission to the Apple Store. About 1: is it correct to use a detail disclosure button to show an action sheet, or is that button intended to show more information about the selected row? – AppsDev May 7 '13 at 15:48
  • I wouldn't use a detail disclosure button. It doesn't communicate inserting new data. There is a pattern you can possibly follow in the Contact editing screen when you add new phone numbers. It shows a "plus" button next to a tappable table cell. – sirtimbly May 7 '13 at 17:08
  • But such "plus" button means a row insertion, right? The situation I described doesn't imply inserting a new row... I think it would be better to display a custom icon then... – AppsDev May 8 '13 at 7:14

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