I have a complex form with a lot of elements. One element section cares about the visibility of the dataset:

  1. Unlimited
  2. Limited

This is realized with radio buttons of course, where unlimited is the default selection.

When "Limited" is selected, some more options are shown to the user. Beneath the typical discussion (hide vs. disable - which was discussed here a lot) I wonder what is the best design to show that form elements depend on the selection of other elements.

2 Answers 2


First of all I'd abandon the radio button for Unlimited/Limited in favour of a checkbox saying Advanced settings or such. It can be unchecked by default and once checked, the extra options are shown to the user.
This way you save some space but, what's more important, you don't repeat yourself (if the setting is limited, it can't be unlimited, no need to keep both in the screen at the same time).

For the extra options I see two possibilities.

  • either (as in B.Sadashiv's answer) hide the not applicable settings when unlimited or non-advanced view is chosen which indeed makes a simple and clean appearance to the (less experienced) user
  • or have some visual grouping of the settings with reference to the Advanced settings checkbox (frame like in the groupbox) and disable the settings when unlimited or non-advanced view is chosen. This way the less experienced users see something but they are not overwhelmed by the extra settings (as those are disabled) while the "power users" see the possibility to set some additional options once they wish so.

It would be of a great help if you could provide us with a sample of your current design (should your question still be up-to-date) so we can help you with the improvements.


You should hide the form instead of disable. when user selected Limited only you should show the related form.

it makes screen less cluttered (minimalize) user can accomplish his task clean and intuitive steps.

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