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Let's use configuring a router as an example. To have the basic setup there are required fields that are located in multiple sections/ forms.

What option provides the best UX:

  1. Display an additional form with the required info at the beginning, and let the user know about the complete configuration, or
  2. Just let the user go through the multi-step configuration?
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  • I don't really get what you are saying, are you asking how to get a user to complete the mandatory minimum amount of information to get going on their router, but also let them know there is additional information they could complete for extra functionality, say? Jul 9, 2019 at 10:14
  • I don't understand what are you saying either... I asked what option is best: 1. to display an additional form with the required info at the beginning or 2. just let the user go through the multi-step configuration. Jul 9, 2019 at 10:21
  • Well lets start with your use case, who is the audience? What are you trying to get them to do? Jul 9, 2019 at 10:23
  • As I said, it is more an example. I really don't understand why it is not clear the question... If a user must fill only a few fields for the basic setup, but the fields are in multiple sections/ pages, it is ok to display an additional form with those fields? Jul 9, 2019 at 10:27
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    Self-defeating UX - "I don't understand why you don't get what I'm saying." Perhaps you're not being clear enough, however I will provide an answer for the problem I think you're asking. Jul 9, 2019 at 10:29

2 Answers 2

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Provide a quick-setup version upfront with a prominent notice and link to expand the form for additional functionality.

Configure Your Router:

Quick setup:
Username: _____________________
Password: _____________________
Network Type: _________________

< + Additional settings... >  *(Include encryption, network, IP, and other custom settings.)*

[Configure]

A brief indication what the additional fields provides, near the additional settings option, helps the user more quickly decide if it's necessary or desirable.

 

Display an additional form with the required info at the beginning...

(Interpreting "additional form" as duplicating the required fields...) if the basic information must be located along with additional information, then, rather than duplicate fields, provide 2 setup forms: 1) basic setup, and 2) advanced setup. Display the basic form by default but switch to the advanced form upon user selection and clearly indicate required fields.

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The short answer is yes.

The reason for this, and a good example, the create account form you see on many popular websites, many UX evangelists have argued over the years to simply get people registered and into your application THEN pry the additional information from them once registered.

This way you avoid annoying people by asking endless questions, you reduce drop-offs and, potentially, increase your registration throughput.

Similarly in other forms, if the mandatory information is buried deep within the form and some of the fields are optional, but appear first, I would make it easier on my user and bring forward the mandatory information so they can complete the task and not have to wade through forms which may have no relevance to them.

If you can't do this, a different option may be to allow them to 'skip to the next mandatory field,' swap out mandatory for required or similar, but you get the gist.

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