One time payment flow One account type can only be paid through EFT. Other account types can be paid through both EFT or credit card. They have the option to make multiple payments (one after the other).

Question When the user is paying an account that can only be paid via EFT, should the credit card option be grayed out? Or should there be no payment options?

Thoughts If there are no options displayed, the screen is simplified, however, it may give the user the impression we only accept EFT.

So grayed out or not shown?

3 Answers 3


Users need to trust your application. If you remove unavailable options, they will have a difficult time understanding the rules that dictate completion of their goals.

Here's a helpful article on dropdowns: design guidelines from Neilsen Norman:

Gray out any unavailable options instead of removing them: any items that cannot b­­e selected should remain in view. For extra UX credit, consider showing a short balloon help message if users hover over a grayed-out option for more than a second, explaining why that option is disabled and how to make it active.

You don't want users thinking they've made a mistake (or the app is broken), when in actuality it's how the app works under the normal constraints.

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    Yup! You also want the user to know the feature has not been moved. If something isn't there, I might search for it somewhere else - another page or menu. Things move around sometimes. If it's visibly disabled, I will know for certain, and not waste time looking for what isn't there. Jul 22, 2017 at 2:05

Show the unavailable option greyed out.

Otherwise users might ask themselves 'Why isn't there another option?' or 'Why did I see the option available for other accounts?'. Consistency is key here.

Also add a little help text to your greyed out options explaining why there is a greyed out option.


I think that users now associate Greyed Out options with "something I can click on to skip", or "something I can click on to not do what the app prefers I do now". I therefore believe that providing a Greyed Out option for things that don't work will make the user wonder what's broke. I would suggest something different, like a "Coming Soon" in grey if need be, with an explanation pop up that other options are in the pipeline. This may set expectations better than just greying out.

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