Usability and In place editors

Hi all,

For my current project, I’ve been thinking about edit forms and whether or not I need a separate edit action at all.

If I have a show action that say displays a users information and this information is layed out nicely so that it’s nice to read etc.

If I require a separate edit action, I need to re-layout all the information so that its layed out in a similar manner but with form input fields. At least I think that kind of consistency would be beneficial to reduce learning required by the user.

To me this doesn’t seem very DRY both on the part of the code, and also on the part of the user since they have to identify with two presentations of the same information.

In comes the in_place editors. If I use these then my show view becomes my edit view as well, so the user only needs to get used to one set of information display.

I have thought of some issues with this though as well. This may not be a familiar format with the user for editing information on the web, and this may not be useful if a user is used to adding new information rather than just looking at it, although the same view could potentially be used for new entries as well. This could also cause issues with validatation that may prevent it from being workable a the moment.

Now for my question :wink:

Is it a reasonable idea to basically eliminate seperate edit, and maybe new actions / views, in favor of i_p_e?

Is there a big downside that I haven’t yet considered that would detract from the user ( and coder ) experience?