I am working in a health insurance flow and having a hard time improving this checkbox list experience. enter image description here

The thing is: a few of the items have nested questions, related to the selected disability. And if the user selects all of them, it becomes an infinite scroll on the page.

I'm trying to figure out a more "compact" way, that avoids too much scroll. And even other suggestions for these nested questions.

Any thoughts?

  • 2
    If nothing else, say consistent with checkboxes. Here, you are alternating between actual checkboxes and buttons which act as checkboxes. Don't do that. The indentation looks fine to me; vertical scrolling is not an anti-pattern. Aug 31, 2021 at 6:21
  • @CodyGray So you suggest turning the Yes/No buttons into radiobuttons? Checkboxes would not work.
    – Nash
    Aug 31, 2021 at 7:23
  • "And if the user selects all of them..." Is that likely? Do your customers really suffer from all those ailments simultaneously?
    – Heinzi
    Aug 31, 2021 at 8:53
  • You could have collapsible sections for detail questions (which would auto-open when controlling checkbox is checked). But may be a pain to use...
    – Pablo H
    Aug 31, 2021 at 15:01
  • A checkbox works fine for yes/no, so long as you use a single checkbox. Checked means yes; unchecked means no. Always write the copy/label so that it can be read in a positive sense; this requires less mental gymnastics for the user, and thus results in less confusion. Sep 2, 2021 at 6:12

3 Answers 3


Show one task at a time, using progressive disclosure

On your first screen, you can provide a simple checkbox questionnaire where the user can identify any health issues that they may have.

When the user clicks Continue, you'll ask for more information on each identified condition. Use a different screen for each condition, and only show screens if the user has identified having them. For example:


Is your diabetes treated with insulin? Yes/No

[If the user clicks Yes]

What is your insulin type and dosage? ___

This allows the user to concentrate on each health condition without feeling overwhelmed by everything else on the page.

  • 3
    I really don't like this suggestion. I find progressive disclosure to be confusing and user-hostile, just like anything which hides information. There's nothing wrong with vertical scrolling; everyone is comfortable with doing it, regardless of device. Focus on clarity, not hiding information because you're afraid that information is going to be confusing to people. It will be more confusing to others if that information disappears and/or cannot be referred back to. Aug 31, 2021 at 6:22
  • 3
    Progressive disclosure also has its upsides (as pointed out by the Nielsen Norman group). I don't see the point in bothering users with questions that might not be relevant to them (e.g. insulin dosage).
    – Nash
    Aug 31, 2021 at 7:24
  • 3
    @CodyGray Progressive disclosure is about reducing cognitive load and keeping the user focused only on relevant tasks and information. I second the article that Nash posted.
    – Izquierdo
    Aug 31, 2021 at 13:38

Adding to Izquierdo, I would also say

  1. Shorten disease names (e.g. Major depression or other mental disorder)
  2. Deemphasize secondary information (e.g. excluding anxiety and stress)
  3. Format the follow-up questions more readable

It would also be helpful if the diseases were ordered a bit better and segmented into sections (but I could not think of anything good here).

Here is my proposal.

two pages with a checklist of illnesses

  • 2
    Shortening the disease names is not an improvement: it loses information. A form like this needs to focus on correctness (i.e., leading people to fill in the right answers), not on beauty. Yes, it looks nicer to have lots of whitespace and less information. However, that is a lot less important than ensuring people read that "anxiety and stress" are not considered to be "major...mental disorders" in this context. Similarly, it is useful to spell out acronyms like HIV and TIA for non-health professionals (who are presumably the target audience for this questionnaire). Aug 31, 2021 at 6:24
  • The information is still there. It justs allows for better scanning of the list. If someone is about to tick the "depression box", she will read the secondary information. HIV and TIA are the same as in OP's question. I would actually keep HIV as it is (as I have rarely seen the spelled out form) and spell out TIA.
    – Nash
    Aug 31, 2021 at 7:30
  • @Nash Re: "If someone is about to tick the "depression box", she will read the secondary information." But only then. What if they don't go to tick a box because they didn't read the secondary information?
    – Pablo H
    Aug 31, 2021 at 14:59

I think those questions are significantly important for the user's health, and you shouldn't minimize and/or designing it more compact. Because the wrongly made decision or wrongly understood question can highly affect the user's treatment plan.

You can still improve it by adding a header. I would recommend 1 of 2 options:

  1. Questions with the nested questions (Y/N), then another group (simple questions). This option is preferable because it solves the nested/ simple questions ordering problem, but you need to consider if this edit is appropriate for this domain (what if the user is used to seeing questions only in this order?).

  2. Questions categorized by type of disease (as you have now but with headers; 2-3-… categories). This option is based on the "Law of Proximity" which tells us "Proximity helps users understand and organize information faster and more efficiently".

Also, I would recommend a quick prototype to discuss and test the concepts with your stakeholders and users. No suggestion could be better than user feedback.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.