Inline Edit: empty fields and minimum widths

Anastasia Cheetham a.cheetham at
Tue Jul 8 14:15:56 UTC 2008

On 7-Jul-08, at 1:50 PM, Gary Thompson wrote:

> Do we have a context of use where the user is editing "nothing"?  It  
> seems that all of the comparative analysis and contexts of use in  
> the design of inline edit point to having something already existing  
> to edit.
> If the condition exists where the user has not yet entered  
> information, then it should probably be populated with a default  
> message like "Click here to enter description" (from the lightbox  
> collection view).  This also becomes the cue to the user that they  
> can inline edit said information.
> Then the existing information (whether user entered or a default  
> message) provides the "width" of the inline edit field.

Gary, thanks for your input.

Filling in an 'empty' field with a default message is going to be the  
default behaviour. However, comments last month on the thread "Inline  
Edit - clearing the field" indicated that there are *some* situations  
in which leaving the field empty is desirable, and that implementors  
should have that option.

The problem was that if the field was empty, it collapsed to virtually  
0 width, so hovering over didn't result any apparent style changes, so  
you couldn't tell it was there.

Anastasia Cheetham                   a.cheetham at
Software Designer, Fluid Project
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre / University of Toronto

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