In a form indicating which fields are required are often indicated by an asterisk (*). We have an editable table and I indicate a required column with aesthetics in the title of the column.

The problem appears when initially no columns are required. But if the user fills one of the fields in the row, the next field in this row becomes mandatory and will not pass validation when the user will save the form. How to help the user and identify conditionally required fields?

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2 Answers 2


Can you highlight fields when required? Or even use progressive disclosure to focus people on what is needed (as in gif below).

As a side note: asterisks should only be used if most fields are optional. If most fields are required, optional fields should be indicated by adding (optional) after the field instead.

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I was thinking about the usability of this case. Try comibining Progressive disclouse to focus the next interaction to be done by the use as @Steve O'Connor rightly said.

Assuming there can be multiple rows like this, it looks pretty bad of field level indicators of optional/required labels are given. So, generalizing the case would looks sometihng like this

General Labelling - Single Row

Multiple rows With Multiple Rows It is a powerful signifier for the user too not letting user do an action and then wait for an error essentially saving that 5 - 10 seconds of doing the task again where the whole user behaviour of rejection/frustration is accounted.

Hope this helps. Thanks

  • if I understand correctly then this note (all fields are required) appears only if the user gave a name to the parameter. And it should disappear again when I move to the next line Also, the message is a bit wrong. All fields are required if I filled out the name. If this does not happen, the user is not required to fill in the row. The note should be the following: entity and value are mandatory when filling out the name. Thank you Commented May 28, 2020 at 9:18
  • @ValentinaEtingen, I am not sure about the scenario you mentioned. However, the message "All fields mandatory" could be any other words. I have showed the way to do it. It can be customized to use it however needed. Also, thanks for the thoughts. It gave me solutionto one of the problem I was wondering about. Kudos! Commented May 29, 2020 at 2:05

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