I am working on a simple interface where the initial screen shows a list of "options" to choose from. These options have a total of 6 properties per, only 5 of them would ever be shown to the user directly though.

The initial screen lists 4 of the 5 properties. Should I really make a details screen to show one more piece of information or, when they click on the option, just take them directly to the edit view.

My thoughts are just take them directly to the edit screen since there is enough information given to make sure they know what they are clicking on and if they are clicking on it, odds are they are editing it. I would like some people more versed in the area to guide me though.

  • Do you have a mockup? If you think the titles are self-explanatory then you might not need to show the details up front. ..but I would need more context to have a strong opinion.
    – pixelfairy
    Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 23:20

3 Answers 3


In short, you don't need to have separate details and edit screens, and you can combine them into one detail view. This is a common practice across platforms:

  • Windows file properties dialog (desktop)
  • StackExchange (you can only see the details (where the question screen is essentially the details screen) (web).
  • Wunderlist (mobile)

And these are just a few of the examples that came to my mind instantly. So, again, the best action is to take your users directly to an edit screen, that is also a details screen.

The question you should be asking yourself instead, is whether the 6th field is prominent for distinguishing between different entries? If so, you should look for some solution of displaying this information to the user (like a tool-tip), without opening a new screen.


My guess Don't call it Edit for now call it Properties or Details. You can do both edit and show properties for now in the same dialog.
If your application need more properties in the future (how many times the specification say need only 5 forever and few weeks/months later you have 20).
It may be interesting to have two kinds of dialogs in the future and at this time you could add an Edit view and make the detail/properties read only.


I would test a mockup with the users and see whether they understand without the information screen

  • Hi Ravi. Welcome to the site! Your answer's rather short at the moment. Is there anything you might say to expand it? Commented Jan 11, 2014 at 6:40

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