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Should i hide disabled buttons?

    Question

  • I have items in gridview. When you click them, detail screen opens.

    On the detail screen's app bar, there are functions related to currently selected item.

    One of these functions is "Website", which basicly opens an internet explorer window for that url.

    Some of the items does NOT have website info, so clicking to WEBSITE button shall do nothing, so i disable the button.

    But.. should i? I mean, should i hide or disable?

    I think disabling is better because functions will not be seen in a strange order where WEBSITE button is missing and now another button is located at that location..

    I think guideline says to hide the button. I don't think it's a good idea. Am i missing something here?

    Monday, August 6, 2012 8:54 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    I would recommend to disable the button because otherwise the user will get confused why the button is available only sometimes. You could change the text of the button to "no Website" while disabling it. Would make it a bit clearer to the end user.


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    Monday, August 6, 2012 9:19 AM
  • I have items in gridview. When you click them, detail screen opens.

    On the detail screen's app bar, there are functions related to currently selected item.

    One of these functions is "Website", which basicly opens an internet explorer window for that url.

    Some of the items does NOT have website info, so clicking to WEBSITE button shall do nothing, so i disable the button.

    But.. should i? I mean, should i hide or disable?

    I think disabling is better because functions will not be seen in a strange order where WEBSITE button is missing and now another button is located at that location..

    I think guideline says to hide the button. I don't think it's a good idea. Am i missing something here?

    Hi,

        Ya you are right. You should disable the button instead of hiding it......

    Monday, August 13, 2012 11:11 AM
  • I concur with the other two answers.   Disabled items are rare in Windows 8, but can be found.  PC Settings Ease of Access has disabled items based upon other selections.

    Michael Stark MCP

    Tuesday, August 14, 2012 7:20 PM
  • In this case I agree, but what if the command was "Delete item", which should only be available when an item is selected? The wording in the  Checklist for app bar article makes lean towards hiding.

    Not trying to hijack thread here, just broadening the discussion ;)

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012 4:13 PM
  • I vote for "hide" too. Several apps do that when you have single/multiple elements selected. Of course the users would not see the commands that are hidden because of the selection but then also why would you show something that cannot be used anyway.

    For me it plays into this "digitally native" concept of Win8. You do not need to have a doorhandle (command button) for a door (file) that cannot be opened.

    See the context menu for text/area fields in Metro apps. It does not show the copy command unless text is marked. It does show "select all" when not all text is marked though. So its a true "context" menu and as such I consider the app bar. Nothing should be visible there that makes not sense with the current displayed/selected items.

    Wednesday, August 29, 2012 3:22 PM