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My current UX challenge:

  • List of < 10 questions that can be answered
  • Only one question answered at a time
  • Once answered, answer is displayed (and potentially editable)
  • No requirement as to which questions must be answered or how many or in what order

An idea:

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

This seems clunky to me and I feel like there's a better affordance. Any ideas?

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Please tell us about the context. Are questions political, business, health etc related? Does user gets any reward in return (points, recognition, gifts)? Is this the main feature of the app? –  gurvinder372 Oct 25 '13 at 5:42
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These look like a "pick your security questions" pattern - favorite song, name of first pet, street you grew up on. True? –  LindaBrammer Oct 25 '13 at 14:29
    
@gurvinder372 the context is basically pick as many of the questions as you want to give written information about yourself. there aren't points or anything, and no, this isn't a main feature. this is one step of a document-creation process. the questions are more or less business-related. –  Jason Oct 25 '13 at 16:38
    
@LindaBrammer that's the pattern i'm trying to avoid, because i think it's clunky :) no, the questions are more prompts to answer about yourself and/or your company. –  Jason Oct 25 '13 at 16:39
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1 Answer

How about this:

  • Display one question at a time, with options to answer or skip to the next question.
  • If question is answered, the question/answer set stays on screen for reference and future editing, while the next question is displayed.
  • Otherwise only the new question is displayed.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

A variation on this:

mockup

download bmml source

(This is slow, though, as it forces your user to go through the questions linearly, but it also acts more as a guide/wizard for the tool. That's the impression I got from your question, but I'm unsure as to whether you actually want that kind of behavior.)

Another idea that might be less frustrating for power users who know which fields they want to hit:

  • Display all the questions at once, and when a question is clicked, an answer field appears.
  • To further avoid clutter, the answer field can stay on screen after an answer has been given, but if another questions is selected for editing without the first question being answered, the previous answer field disappears.

mockup

download bmml source

In essence I am trying to get around the 'clunkiness' you dislike by streamlining the appearance of questions that are not relevant at the moment, by collapsing or hiding them.

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