In my web app we have an area where you can choose the type of "query" you want (left block) and then you see the selected form with the fields in the right

enter image description here

As you can see, 'Risk' field may appear a lot of times since it's available in 5 types of queries.

The question is: Should I keep the data when switching forms? Or should I clear the form every time the user selects a new form?

I explain myself:

  • In the Risk level input, I select something.
  • Then, I go to the 2nd query (Risk + Person type), see image below


  • I need to fill the Risk level input again

At the moment every change of query type, I clear the fields and the user has to select again the wanted value (It may be multiple choice)
Example: with items

Is OK clear the data? Or do you prefer keep the changes between each form?

Additional info: when the user changes the query from the left block, the page is not reloaded, just the fields are updated (shown or hidden). All the fields shown are required to submit the form.

Maybe another approach is to keep the changes between switches and add a reset button in the down-left corner of the right block. Example: reset

What do you think? Any help is welcome


1 Answer 1


It appears that you've correctly identified a potentially frustrating issue (losing their field entries when changing queries), and have found an adequate solution (the reset button).

If you have doubts that it should behave this way, you could implement two versions of this page: one that preserves the model between queries, and one that doesn't. I would wager that you're likely to find that users appreciate the preserving of their queries.

The queries selection is effectively simply changing the required fields. Since many of the queries are subsets of other queries, many of the fields will remain in place as the queries change. It would therefore make sense that the model itself should stay in place as well. Supporting this should help provide a sense of stability in the UI, as well as allow for users to explore the UI without losing data unexpectedly.

  • You are right, "the queries selection is effectively simply changing the required fields" I think keep the data is the way to do it in this case. Thanks! Commented Jul 17, 2018 at 20:16
  • 3
    Second this: keep the fields. I'd even go so far as to say keep the fields that aren't always common between a switch E.g. if a user went from Risk + Person type + Residence (filling in the latter) to Risk + Person type + Nationality (no residence) and then realised they actually needed Risk + Person type + Nationality + Residence then it would be good to (re)display the original value entered for residence. Think of it as one big form with the left-hand selector enabling/disabling/hiding/showing appropriate fields.
    – TripeHound
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 9:30
  • Yeah, that's the point. Keep it has advantages and zero inconveniences as I see it now Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 15:50

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