Designers: Re: Inline Edit - clearing the field

Anastasia Cheetham a.cheetham at
Mon Jun 23 17:50:24 UTC 2008

> You'll see that even though the group field is empty the inline edit  
> discovery interaction of highlight and hover message apply.  For  
> now, the interaction you describe should probably work the same  
> way.  One of the challenges here is the varying contexts.  Sometimes  
> it is really important for an empty field to be empty (in a  
> particularly busy interface for instance or when there are lots of  
> empty values so textually describing the emptiness is huge clutter  
> and noise).  Other times it might not be bad to have a textual  
> indication that the field is empty.  In Friday's design review we  
> decided this was likely something controlled by the integrating  
> app.  Does that make sense?

Daphne, thanks for your feedback.

Currently, the highlight and hover behaviour is the same, regardless  
of whether or not the field is empty. The issue is that when the field  
is empty, it is very small, so that when you hover over it, for  
example, the yellow highlight is a very small area, and easy to miss  
(and probably hard to target).

I notice that when you do click on it, the editable field defaults to  
a minimum width that is larger than the empty field - if the hover  
highlight were styled to also have this minimum width, might that  
address the usability issue?

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

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