Usually when there is a form on a website, a user fills it in then saves it. If the saving operation fails, is it considered a good UX practice to retain the entered form data? (Since the user shouldn't have to type it again before retry)

That's the behavior I expect for edit areas, checkboxes and most of UI elements in which can be entered data.

However, I used a dropdown containing a tree which was implemented with ccheckboxes (see picture). I checked all the checkboxes, hit "save", which failed. The dropdown remained in the same state: all of the checkboxes were still selected. I was expecting that the dropdown checkboxes would "reset" to their default state.

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So for now I'm trying to find out some examples, some advices or any other information about: this kind of UI element, your feelings about that or even better your feedback if you have encoutered such a situation. Thanks!

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Clearing a form on failure is common on webpages because form submits often do a round-trip to the server and then the page is refreshed with the result (missing the data that failed to save). This is suboptimal because the user loses information that they have filled out.

One good approach is to show the user that the form has unsaved data (or even highlight or indicate which specific fields have changed). When a save fails, it's good to keep those indications of unsaved data around so that the user understands that the data still needs to be saved, along with a "please retry" message. That would probably feel more natural.

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