Observation: Add/Edit Forms and View Pages in Web Applications

99% of web applications have add forms. Most of them have edit forms as well. It is really hard to imagine how you can add/store something without a form. OK, there are some ways like: import something from CSV file or another format, create something from incoming email/SMS/etc., capture image and create something from this image

Still if you need to add something quickly, in most cases you will use a web form. Obviously, if you need to edit something you will use web form as well. Is it the best solution? Can we get rid of edit forms? I bet we can.

Most applications has View page. It represents information in a more readable and usable format than a form. And to change one property you:

  • Click Edit link and wait for new page to load.
  • Change the property.
  • Find and click Save button.
  • Wait for previous View page to load.

That’s quite time consuming process. I think the better way will be:

  • Double click property you want to change.
  • Type new value.
  • Push Enter to save the new value using AJAX.

This way has several advantages. First, you don’t need to create edit forms (ok, but you need to implement inline edit). Second, you provide much better user experience. Third, you get rid of Edit links everywhere, which is good (less complexity and less links is always good). That is something we are going to try in TargetProcess v.3.0.

4 thoughts on “Observation: Add/Edit Forms and View Pages in Web Applications”

  1. I like this idea a lot.
    The only reservation I have is that without the ‘Edit’ button there is no visible clue to the user how to edit a value. So, I would want some kind of ‘editable indicator’ to pop up when the user hovers over an editable item.


  2. More inline would be great!
    One of the only qualms we have in our internal trial is the outdated feel of the UI (page based, a lot of clicks, inconsistent use of AJAX, etc.).
    I hope we pick TargetProcess, and if we do I am looking forward for a fully AJAXified UI in 3.0.
    Heck, AJAX has been around (as a capability, not term) for about 10 years now.
    No excuses anymore!


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