I have an app that stores previously saved information, for viewing and editing. When it is edited, the user chooses which piece of info (from a list) and can then currently change the sections.

I have it set up that the fields that can be changed are auto filled with the existing information, so it can be edited. However, it is not easy to edit text on phones sometimes, and I want this to be easy to use.

Another option I have is to not auto fill anything into the boxes - but any box that they don't add information to is left as it was. This would make editing easier, but may be less intuitive.

What is the standard for these sorts of things?

  • if it is not easy to edit the fix that
    – paparazzo
    Mar 15, 2015 at 23:36
  • It is not easy to edit because of the way android works. I have no gonrol over that.
    – Tim
    Mar 16, 2015 at 13:39

1 Answer 1


Auto fill inputs with current values

Fill inputs with current values if you have them. Keyboards on mobile devices are usually more difficult to use which is all the more reason to auto fill the current value. Many devices also have a way to quickly clear inputs as needed so I wouldn't worry about that use case.

Just don't fill inputs with "sample" values as this does more harm than good.

Placeholder text is okay though placeholder text needs to look different than user entered text.

Auto select all the text when it helps the user

Sometimes inputs are more likely to be completely changed than others such as a search text box. In these cases you could pre-select all the text so that the first character entered would overwrite the existing value. A user still has the option of moving the cursor to a different part of the text to make a small edit in cases where they don't want to completely change the value.

  • The only sample text I have is going to be true for every event that is added.
    – Tim
    Mar 13, 2015 at 18:31
  • Sample text isn't quite the same as a default value. Can you post a screenshot of where you are considering auto-clearing the text?
    – DaveAlger
    Mar 13, 2015 at 19:15
  • Unfortunately, the emulator i was using is broken :/ However, I have decided to auto fill them with the items for editing.
    – Tim
    Mar 16, 2015 at 13:40

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