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I have been tasked of designing a form which has X amount of set questions the customer can pick in a back end software. Each question has a point against it (which can be defined) and to complete the form the user must meet the minimum amount of points. It's not Likert as the questions are free-form text inputs.

enter image description here Stuff on right & red not visible to user

Here's an example (obviously I've changed the questions). We could say here the user needs 18 points to continue, which could be done in a number of ways. It wouldn't matter what the user filled in as long as the minimum points were met.

It could also be the case where the customer decides they want the user to only answer 4 questions and that happens to equal the right amount of points (So it'll just be like a normal form).

Here's the problem. For security issues I can't display what the value is (don't ask) so I need to show the weight of the questions in a way that isn't but is obvious. I was thinking of breaking down questions into points groups and putting the more valuable ones at the top and working down and showing some sort of traffic light system for feedback. Another thing to consider is the customer is setting what questions they want from a pre defined list and assigning a value to each one, and the minimum value they want to meet.

How could I best present the form in a way which shows the value of a question without showing a number and giving good feedback to the user to say the mimumum amount of points has been met?

EDIT

The questions themselves aren't security based but will be doing search against a record. A minimum amount is needed to search against a record, which is completely dependent on what the customer specifies.

Progress bars are out the question because they will give away the value of the question.

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6 Answers 6

I think you've already answered your own question in your diagram. I think I'd just sort them from most valuable to least valuable. That's not exposing the actual scores, but will likely get people to fill in the top ones first.

If you tell people they don't need to answer all questions and then once they've filled in enough activate the "Next button". If you want to discourage people entering more info than strictly required you could even deactivate the other fields at that point.

Until then you might have it in a "Sorry, I need more info" state.

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+1 for sorting by weight. –  vzwick Oct 20 '12 at 0:03

How about a progress bar with no values showed?

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What is the context of the questions? Security? In that case you could go with some kind of "strength" indicator similar to those used for telling a user how good their new password is.

As you answer questions you could simply indicate whether they are "secure", "insecure", or "good enough but could be better".

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I like the progress bar idea... Think LinkedIn do similar when you are completing your profile - although they do tell you the weighting of the various tasks.

Difficult to say without knowing context, but I would worry that this is over-complicated. As a user I think I'd notice that questions had different weightings as I was adding answers to move me towards completion. This would likely result in me either figuring out the weightings that you need to keep secret, or just finding the whole thing confusing.

From a UX point of view, I think I'd try and talk the client in to a system where certain questions are required, others are optional. Which isn't really the answer you're looking for.. I'll keep thinking.

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Ditto on the progress bar with no values. At the bottom of the screen, just have a plain empty bar that gets filled certain percentages as they fill in answers. If they can not click the "Next" button until they have met this minimum number of points, then possibly disable the button until the progress bar is filled, as that would be a good indicator of the purpose of the bar.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Thanks for the answers so far. I've decided to answer my own question with what I did as this is quite specific.

I decided to ask required questions first, and then optional questions. Even though they are the same form, I wanted to treat them as 2 parts. I am hoping the user will fill in the required fields first then go onto the second part. Once enough information has been given some very obvious feedback will be given letting them know they can continue.

enter image description here

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