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I'm working on a project that creates shops managed by a single user.

Besides the required data (eg: shop name) there are a number of optional configurations:

  • Theme settings
  • Shop settings
  • Other info (eg: social media accounts)
  • Etc.

I'm wondering if there is any research on the best approach to tackle these optional configurations.

Here are the possible ways I see to tackle this:

1) Force users to see the optional fields

I could add more fields to the main form or add more steps with the fields marked as optional. This seems like the most annoying option for users as it has the bigger cognitive load.

2) Let users decide if they want to fill those now or later

Instead of showing all the optional fields, I could ask users if they'd like to fill more details now or later. This seems less annoying but OTOH users may not understand the implications and I'm forcing them to make decision.

3) Simply ignore optional settings and show some tips afterwards

Just force users to fill the minimum required fields and leave the optional settings with their default value. Once the shop has been created I can show something in the UI (eg: "Next steps") to let them know what extra stuff they could do.

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It depends. Can they achieve their user goals without filling in the logo, website etc ? What is the impact of them not filling in the optional details ? These depends on what your service provides.

We had a similar situation on a job site. When you created a profile, your profile would be discoverable by companies registered on the website. We would charge this companies to filter through accounts so we wanted to avoid as much as possible having incomplete profiles.

So we redesigned the flow to ask for those details in the sign up phase ( here we requested the essential info for a quality user profile but with an option to go in detail like work experience, skills, certificates, upload CV etc. ) After completion we would show a percentage of profile completion with incentives like : Profiles filled to 100% have a better chance of being noticed. Add more about your work experience and it worked good.

Don't be afraid to ask for the user to invest. It can make them more prone to using your product but make sure it is easy for them to do so and you incentive them to do so. You can read about the Hook model ( https://www.nirandfar.com/makeyourusersdothework/ )

  • Thanks for your answer. Yes, users would be able to accomplish the main goal but these optional settings would "tweak" the end result, so to speak. I've edited my question to include more details about the use case and will make it easier to understand. – Pier Aug 6 '20 at 18:25
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Can we do a step based forms where you ask the user for all the mandatory stuff on step 1 and step 2 and step 3 is optional for Eg :

Step 1 > Basic Data Step 2 > Additional Info Step 3 Advanced Configuration

on Step 1 you can add a skip button Right Next to the "Next Button" so that user can skip directly to confirmation

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