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Within our software we need the ability to override fields. Our standard is the following:

  • Original field must be read-only with an "Override" checkbox next to it
  • When checking checking "Override" a dependent field should display for the user to enter in the override
  • If the override can not be left blank it should be marked as required

Example:

enter image description here

This standard works well with all field types except for checkboxes, as it just seems a little confusing with them.

For your reference this is how this standard looks for checkboxes:

enter image description here

One idea we have is this:

enter image description here

Question: Is the idea we have the way to go, or are there better options for overriding checkboxes?

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While the override checkbox works - I would consider another design option where you don't use an override checkbox at all and rather have the text enabled as opposed to read only and add a button that says "Reset to default" or "Reset to original" (either use text or an icon to display this option).

For the email field, I would suggest not using the override option either and instead have the field say Email with two checkboxes next to it {Receive, Do Not Receive} and with "Receive" checked by default.

enter image description here

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Side note

The best way of editing something is to have a master label edit button on that page or a trigger that takes the user to edit mode.

Solution

Since you have added a constraint to the problem statement, this is what I can think of.

  1. In the provided design, I see there is a visual cue for the input read-only state i.e the grey background.

  2. The visual cue for the checkbox read-only state has resonance with the disabled field. Moreover, the checkbox is for toggling between states 01 and 02. Having another checkbox beside it to toggle the states is an overkill.

I would prefer if we solve point 02 with slide modification of the existing design, it would better work with the constraint provided. On top of it, adding another checkbox next to it would be super confusing for the user.

Designs

  1. Changed read-only state for checkbox
  2. The overriding element should be ideally a radio box instead of a checkbox.

enter image description here

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One approach is to add additional messaging around the state but utilize the single control.

A lightweight approach is to use subtle text to denote the override. Note: In all the images below, the proposal is to use a single control. Two states of the same control are represented.

enter image description here

If it's important when scanning the form to know which form inputs use default values pulled from elsewhere, you can display 'Default' beside the label:

enter image description here

Lastly, if you offer reset action with other controls, or are looking to develop that pattern, you could add a 'Reset' option that also implies an override has taken place:

enter image description here

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