Let's imagine a simple conditional field.


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The user validates the form and leaves for some time.

Then he comes back to the form, and selects back delayed payment.

Do you think the conditional value should be the old one, be empty, or the form default value?
(the value in the grey disabled area will be filled or not in consequence)

2 Answers 2


You should use the most common value the user has previously entered

  • Or at the very least the previous value the user entered

As Alan Cooper says in About Face on the subject of smart products:

If your application simply remembers what the user did the last several times, it can use that as a guide to how it should behave next time.

The previous value a user entered is more likely to be correct than an arbitrary default value.

A blank value is always guaranteed to be wrong.

You should also ensure that the field is cleared when they select it, so they don't have to manually delete the value if they do wish to change it.


It should be the old one, but it should be focused and selected so that users can change it directly after selecting the delayed payment option without further clicks.

I can think of two situations when someone might come back and select the delayed option again.

  • To check if the correct value is filled, or
  • to change the value.

Users don't like it when something they've entered previously is gone when they return. However, when they select the option again one could assume the user wants to change the value. By keeping it the same as before but selected you provide a 'best of both worlds' solution that fits every situation.

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