We have a requirement for a group of settings.

Option1 A or B

Option2 A or B

OptionX true or false

Any combination of 1 and 2 are valid whilst X is false.

However when X is true, the other setting must be 1A and 2A.

Further info: the solution im working on has a paradigm of no on page validation (business requirement outside of my control)

Question: If a user has an invalid selection saving setting X as true what should the UI do?

The options I've thought up so far are:

  • Throw an error back to the page on post back and force the user to correct the mistake and don't save anything

  • force the correct setting in the back end and give the user an alert that I have made the change for them

The first solution adds more thinking for the user, but the second feels wrong changing the settings without the explicit consent of the user.

Fyi, if these settings are wrong, bad things happen to the system, so the user really wants them to be right.

Thanks for your help!


Option 1 is better solution and it is a standard pattern in form validations.

When a user enters wrong data in any field and hits the Submit button, mostly all validation scripts don't submit the form but they alert the user about that wrongly entered data field.

Don't ever let the system automatically correct information for your users especially when they have to submit important forms.


I agree with Dipak's answer. From your suggestions, the first one feels more correct as it has validation but instead of before sending, after sending (though before saving).

If possible, try to avoid the possibility in the first place. This is a suggestion in case it helps approach the problem in a different direction:

Disable Option 1 and 2 when OptionX is true, keeping them in the correct value.

This will depend on the kind of setting you have. If the options are meant to apply in any case then it could be understood. If however the options could become deactivated and not apply then this suggestion is of no help.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.