My question is perhaps subjective so apologies in advance but this is a real dilemma I'm having.

I have a web based customer management program that allows users to add information about a customer, including notes, set calendar events (tasks), create contact log entries, and to create always-visible sticky notes.

Now these records are incredibly similar: notes have a title, body, created by, and created on fields. Sticky notes are made by checking off a 'sticky-note' check box. Contact log entries are just notes that document customer communication, for example, 'Called John to promote new v 2.0 release", and tasks are notes with an alarm date, or maybe a start and end date, sutable for plotting on a calendar.

It would be an easy matter to combine all four types into a single dialog with a radio button or toggle button array at top allowing the user to select a Note, Contact, Sticky, or Task. If I did this I could have one 'super' button that opens the dialog, say, "New Note/Task" that would allow the creation of any of the types. Alternately I could have four buttons, "New Note", "New Contact", "New Sticky", "New Task" that would open the dialog with the correct radio pre-selected.

Or I could have four separate dialogs each devoted to it's purpose.

Or some hybrid, like Note, Sticky, and Contact on one and a different dialog for Tasks, then have either one 'super' new-note button and a new-task button.

I can argue an advantage of combining all into one multi-function dialog in that the user could switch between types, if they added a note about a meeting they could later change it to a calendar task or a sticky note by editing the note.

Any thoughts appreciated!

  • 3
    Take a look at Google Keep. It's quite simple and usable, and covers all your functionality. Then "steal like an artist". Oct 25, 2017 at 20:27
  • Have you tested these different kinds of dialogs with users? Nov 25, 2018 at 14:56

2 Answers 2


I think combining everything into one modal is a good idea. You can have a 'top toggle button array' like you mentioned and then populate the rest of the modal based on the users selection there. Tabs could be a good metaphor. I definitely would show/hide fields based on the selection or you may overwhelm your user.


It sounds like they are all the same thing, apart from certain fields for differing attributes like 'date' or 'type of note' etc.

Create one design for the main interaction and vary it slightly depending on what type of note the user creates.

You'll also need some way for the user to view these objects, be it a table or some filterable view.

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