- Hide buttons that the user wouldn't search for. For instance, a non-administrative user doesn't need to see the Admin button.
- Disable buttons where it is obvious to the user why it isn't clickable. For instance, a well implemented undo functionality doesn't need to have it's menu item enabled before the user starts editing. That would actually confuse some users.
- In all other cases, make the button visible and enabled, but show a message that explains to the user, why this functionality is currently not available, and what the user can do to make it available.
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
When to hide or disable menu items and buttons
I often disagree with Joel, also in his latest post about menu items. Hiding and disabling buttons and menu items is usually done in order to prevent, that the user triggers an event, and it's perfectly ok to do in some cases: