User Approval action buttons don't appear until a user is selected


(Kevin P. Fleming) #1

This morning I was prompted to approve six users on our new site; I went to the user approval page, but could not immediately see how to approve (or reject) users. After selecting one user, the ‘approve’ and ‘reject’ buttons appeared at the bottom of the page.

I think it would be more useful to have those buttons always visible, and grayed-out (and thus not clickable) when no users are selected. I believe this is the most common UX for this kind of mechanism (but I could clearly be wrong).


(Dave McClure) #2

Actually I think a lot of things behave this way these days, where actions on selected items do not appear until items are selected.

Gmail is one I can think of off the top of my head.


(Jeff Atwood) #3

Eh, we’ve had a lot of problems with buttons being disabled, where there is no indication “why” a button isn’t working.

We’ve had to revert a lot of button disabled UI for this reason (on login, and on post submission), so I have to say, I am not really a fan.


(Sam Saffron) #4

I agree with Jeff here, this fancy paradigm of disabling buttons needs to go, it only leads to confusion.

Instead we should just alert people when they try to click on a button for an action they are not allowed to do. Teach them what they did wrong at that point.


(Dave McClure) #5

That makes sense. Just because Gmail does it doesn’t make it right.

Looks like the Reply button exemplifies the best behavior: when there is not enough characters, it’s greyed out, but not disabled, so you still get the error message when you click on it, but its also clear that something isn’t right before you do.

In any case, the issue raised by @kpfleming is legit in that case: that the buttons don’t even appear at all until something is selected on the new user page.


(Jeff Atwood) #6

Actually we are proposing that greyed out state goes away.


(Dave McClure) #7

Yeah, I suppose greying something out without disabling it flouts all convention and could be even more confusing.