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I'm creating a form that has a 'split' section, where the user either has to fill in 'Section A' OR 'Section B'.

These sections are quite large, with around 6-7 fields in both.

Another requirement I have for this form is that it needs to be on one 'page' (one webpage, not fit on one screen height).

I have looked for duplicates of this question, but can only find questions in relation to one input, not entire sections being 'split'.


I've created a few mockups of ideas I've had:

Mockup 1

This has the advantage that the user will be able to see every field before they decide which one to enter. Although it may be confusing; for example, is the generic field at the top part of it? Would users know to only fill in one section? If I disable the 'other' section, then what if they change their mind?

mockup 1: 'OR'

Mockup 2

Firstly, apologies for the bad mockup. This looks much tidier, but hides the second option. This may be a problem for a few reasons:

  1. The user has to click the second tab to see the fields.
  2. They may not know to only fill one in, though this could be solved with some text saying 'only fill in option 1 OR option 2'.
  3. The user may attempt to fill in both, that would raise the question of which do I accept?

mockup 2: 'tabs'


So my question is:

Is there a general rule/protocol for when this problem occurs? Any advice?

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    Is a harmonica an option? Have them in a sectioned list (each form is a section) and collapse one of the sections? Opening one section closes the other. – kevin Aug 29 '18 at 12:13
  • That’s a good idea, I’ll create a mock-up when I get back from lunch and let you know how I feel about it, thanks? – Jessica Ward Aug 29 '18 at 12:14
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    @JessicaWard Why can't you get the user preference first (either Option 1 or Option 2) and then slide down the selected form based on clicking the options? instead of displaying the two forms in the page. Exposing many forms (At first sight) (even though the user is going to fill one form) in page will leads to decrease form completion rate of users. – Praveen Aug 29 '18 at 12:52
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What you could do is asking a question if you want to proceed with Option 1 or 2. And then only show the Fields for the selected option.

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