I am working on a form wireframe, and getting stuck on this one part.

The user can either pick out an extracurricular involved, or choose "none", if not relevant. Having both a drop down and a check box seems a bit too complicated to me though. Would including "none" in the dropdown be better, and have the form automatically be set to that, unless the user changes it? Or another alternative I thought of was to have "extracurriculars" be a checkbox, that if checked, then exposes a dropdown menu? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks in advanceenter image description here

2 Answers 2


With the checkbox you basically break it up into two questions:

Are there any extracurricular activities involved?
If yes; What extracurricular activities are involved?

But you have already simplified it to one question:

(What) Extracurricular activities (are) involved(?)

The answer might as well be "None", just like any other option in the dropdown. So put it there. And since it is the default it should be the first option in the list (and selected by default).

See also this similar question: What should be the expected way to unselect a dropdown


Just to offer an alternative suggestion (not saying this one is necessarily better).

The one concern of having "None" as a drop down value is how obvious it is that it's an option that the user will be able to find in the list. Having it as the default selected option does help to resolve this issue, although it isn't as obvious how to revert to "none" once the user has selected a value.

How about allowing an empty field to be used for "None". You can then use placeholder text to make it more clear that an empty value is valid. Also, providing an explicit button to clear the value will help (the user can also just remove the selected text too).

Something like this:

enter image description here

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