Designers: Re: Inline Edit - clearing the field

Eli Cochran eli at
Mon Jun 23 17:59:04 UTC 2008

I have two suggestions, the first is to have a minimum width. The  
second is to put in default text into the space, such as "Click here  
to edit", which gives the visual clue to the user that the space is  
editable and also helps enforce the min width for browsers that don't  
support min width very well.

Usually when this is done, the default text is displayed in a dimmed  
and/or alternate font.

- Eli

On Jun 23, 2008, at 10:50 AM, Anastasia Cheetham wrote:

>> 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
> _______________________________________________
> fluid-work mailing list
> fluid-work at

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Eli Cochran
user interaction developer
ETS, UC Berkeley

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