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In our application, we mark all the required fields with an asterisk and when user tries to perform an action without providing values for all the required fields, we display an error message next to the field, for which the value is missing.

Now, our users want us to remove required field validation for one of the fields and want us to display a popup asking for the value of the field.

I’ve heard Popups are really bad from a UX point of view. So, should we tell the user that popups are bad and continue with error messages next to the field or is it Okay to display a popup in this particular instance?

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Not quite enough information here to go on. What do you mean by 'pop-up' and if the field isn't required, then what is triggering the pop-up? (Also, 'pop-ups' aren't necessarily good nor bad UX...it all depends on how and why it's being implemented) –  DA01 Aug 13 '12 at 19:09
    
The field is still required, but the users want the validation error message to appear in a popup along with an option to provide input value for that field. –  sthotakura Aug 13 '12 at 19:17
    
what happens if other fields are also invalid? –  DA01 Aug 13 '12 at 19:18
    
for those fields we would still display error message next to the field. It is only for this one field users want a popup. –  sthotakura Aug 13 '12 at 19:20
    
Can you show us a visual? What kind of pop-up are we talking about? If it's a modal window, that sounds confusing, as it'd be blocking any other invalid fields as well. In general, mixing validations in one form sounds a little confusing for a user. –  DA01 Aug 13 '12 at 19:22
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The comments above have addressed this already, but generally it's best to highlight the point of error inline.

So, if you have a form with several fields and a set of controls at the bottom (like Save and Cancel), ideally the error message will highlight the incorrect field and provide instructions for fixing the error inline with that field.

Some patterns also place a prominent warning message at the top or bottom of the form.

See http://uxdesign.smashingmagazine.com/2012/06/27/form-field-validation-errors-only-approach/ for several examples.

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Makes sense. Will try and convince the users. Thanks All. –  sthotakura Aug 14 '12 at 18:31
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