I need some ideas on how to show the user why the button is disabled. It is a very big system with a lot of rules and therefore it can be hard to fin out why. I would like to help the users but how?

I have thought about making an extended version of a tooltip telling about the rules that have to be fulfilled - and maybe make it dymaic so that they don't need to deal with fulfilled rules.

Any other ideas?

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    I like the idea of a non intrusive contextual action such as a tooltip. That should work. – Wander Jan 29 '15 at 12:00
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    We are using tooltips for this purpose, and I am happy with it. – stefan.s Jan 29 '15 at 12:35

In complex situations like this, a little message console can be the perfect solution. Just put it somewhere really obvious (at the side / bottom / or perhaps near where the disabled button is located), and have it pop up to display details of any validation errors / issues that are blocking the user from continuing. The console box should only be displayed if there are actually messages to show the user.


The point of disabling a button is to indicate that action is required from the user to proceed but also to avoid displaying error messages. so explaining to user why a button is disabled defies the purpose. I would suggest to look at the journey carefully to make sure that the user is guided through in an optimal manner through both content and messaging before they are asked to take action.

If the action taken by the user can't be reversed than display a friendly warning and explain to the user the concequences before asking for explicit confirmation.

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    Thanks! I understand your point of view but the problem that is i am working with procurement and there can be up till 15 different action presented by 15 buttons with 5 different rules for each button therefore it can be hard to make a perfect flow - but maybe i could help the user by telling why he/she is not allowed to do the action. What do you think about that? I don't like the idea about enabling the button and instead give a message about the problems in a dialog which the user have to remember to do it right. – Signe Skelgaard Jan 29 '15 at 11:31
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    In our program options could be enabled for a variety of reasons. I do think that explaining why a specific UI element is disabled is a very good idea. – stefan.s Jan 29 '15 at 12:32

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