onecrane (onecrane) wrote in suggestions,

Don't display forms the user can't submit

Don't display forms the user can't submit

Short, concise description of the idea
Don't bother displaying a Post Comment form if the currently logged-in user doesn't have the rights to do so.

Full description of the idea
I attempted to post today to somebody's journal. They had the friends-only posting option on, so the half hour I spent writing my comment was essentially wasted.

It is true that I could have read the part above the form, wherein it clearly states: "this user has disabled anonymous and non-friend posting. You may post here if mrogre lists you as a friend." Obvious enough. I knew that I'm not on this person's Friends List. However, I have no memory of ever checking beforehand to see if I have posting rights. I take it for granted that if the form is there, I can use it.

While it is a mistake on my part, I suspect I'm not the only user who doesn't pay attention to a journal's comment control level until it's too late. If that is so, then I submit that it would be more appropriate to the user's experience to not even display the form, or possibly even the link to display the form, if the current user doesn't have the rights to make such a post. Instead, perhaps, why not show a message explaining why they can't post, and perhaps a login form link to allow them to change users at that point?

An ordered list of benefits
  • This will improve user experience by saving them the time of writing posts that they can't actually make.
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • Some users may be highly accustomed to frequent identity switching, in which case it may be taxing and unnatural for them to constantly have to change identity before posting. How often that's important, however, I don't know - but I bet you have the power to find out.
Tags: comment creation, comments, security, § no status
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