Context: The user is applying online for a credit card. As the person fills the form, her personal data is being analysed, so by the end of the application, she should know whether she got it or not.

Problem: One of the fields is a dropdown where she should choose her job position (as you know this could be an infinite list). The list was shortened and it has a filter-autocomplete functionality. However, there are cases where the user can't find their job position, and would have to choose something similar from the list, but this is not intuitive, barely no one does this and they just give up at this point.

Technical constraints: We can't use an open field here because the fields in the list DO make a big difference on whether the person gets the card and what their credit limit will be, whatever the input, it needs to match the info on the database.

Can you think of an alternative to this?

  • You can't allow an 'other' option? Would this interfere with the business logic of them not qualifying for the card?
    – Mike M
    Aug 22, 2017 at 19:25
  • Can your system calculate hybrid job titles? For example: if I am a senior interactive designer but that is not on your list. I should be able to select (senior) + (graphic design) + (web design). If a user cannot find the perfect job title from your pre-qualified list, then allow the user to select multiple job titles and try to get close to what you may consider approved.
    – jhurley
    Aug 22, 2017 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


If you can't change the business logic, make it clear that choosing a similar position is an available / acceptable option.

Tell them up front that they may not find their exact title.


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

It sounds like the goal is to get them approved with the least friction.

Do the constraints of the database get in the way if the customer chooses the wrong approximate title? (i.e. card approval, but lower credit limit) If so, then you might have to revisit the logic if a user is punished for the wrong choice.

Example: users are afraid of picking the wrong position

If users express hesitancy about picking a similar title, some hint text could reassure them it won't hurt their approval chances.

  • Thanks! we're testing this one as we've already tested the other two and they weren't working as expected. Aug 23, 2017 at 15:50

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