We have some background processing on form and in the result, some of the form fields can become null. So how should information message about this action look like? The best option we have "The value of X was set to blank".

  • 2
    Can you show us a visual mock of your efforts and the surrounding context? What's the domain, who are the users? Do they understand technical terms? Where does this message show up? is it outside the form? The more context, the better the available answers tend to be, and the more the question is valuable to others.
    – Mike M
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 19:09
  • Why would they become null or empty? Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 7:52
  • What do you mean by "null"? The default option or zero? Commented Aug 5, 2019 at 6:10
  • Are you suggesting a dependent field like City to Country? Hopefully the null values do not appear in too many fields. You can highlight and maintain focus on the appropriate field or section to suggest that it needs user attention. A message may not be necessary. If needed a contextual message on the side of the field can be added.
    – Ren
    Commented Jan 2, 2020 at 7:53

2 Answers 2


If I am understanding your question, there are some fields on your form that when information is entered, override some other fields that are no longer needed (for example, use saved phone number vs. enter a new one)

picture of form with with a phone number field or a radio button for a saved number

First the field should be disabled (visually, that is usually achieved by reducing opacity or graying out) picture of form with with the phone number field now disabled and the radio button for a saved number selected

Second if the user has already entered input, you probably do not want to clear the value from the disabled field and instead just ignore that field when submitting. That way if the user were to change their mind, they could go back and continue editing the field without having to type everything all over again.

picture of form with the phone number field containing a user entered number being disabled and the radio button for a saved number selected

picture of form with the phone number field containing a user entered number enabled, and the radio button for a saved number deselected


If I understand your question correctly, you have a form with a set of fields and on saving the form, you are processing it in a way that one or more fields are set to a NULL value.

It would be interesting to know why you want to set the values to NULL in the first place. But I can see a couple of possibilities here.

If you are setting blank fields or the fields which the users haven't filled to NULL - you can have a field placeholder text that can say something like for e.g. - Enter a value (Default NULL)

If you are overriding the user input to NULL - I don't believe it's a good practice. If the entered value is invalid, you can always validate and highlight the field. But there's no reason to override a valid user input, you can just avoid the field instead.

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