Currently, I am designing a form that has a radiobutton group for a certain question, that affects whether a second radiobutton group is relevant to them or not. Now I've been researching on what is the best option in regards to showing (but disabling) or hiding this second radiobutton group.

The vast majority of the users (say 80%) will choose the default option in question one, after which the second input will be relevant to them. The remaining percentage will choose on of the other options.

The second input will initially always be visible, and it is linked to the first option of the first input. But what would be the best solution for the second option? I personally think hiding it should be fine, as it will be completely irrelevant for anyone choosing any of the other options in the first input. If we would have it remain visible, we would have to add a message that tells the user why the input has been disabled, which would increase cognitive load.

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The image above shows a simplified version of the case. The default state is shown on the left. The middle image shows the "hide" design, while the third image on the right shows the "disable" design.

1 Answer 1


Add some progressive disclosure to the design: Turn the order around and let users choose first if they want to pay in terms or not. Make the possible pre-paid options appear that matter for their choice. Or make it a two-step form if you will but always allow to navigate back and change previous choices.

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If you like to play open cards and show all possible options at once, this indeed will add some cognitive load but also has its purpose: Users can decide if they want to pay in terms based on the pre-paid options at hand. Your 3rd example with the options disabled and the explanation seems ok, but you can also integrate all options in the same list:

enter image description here

  • Curious though, if you would change the order around...wouldn't you still have the same issue? Either you would have to explain why they are not able to choose for a pre-paid option. Or you would hide it for them, not having them know that they can select any of the pre-paid options (which in this case, is the more important selection out of the two). Still, perhaps in this case just showing all options with explanation is the lesser-of-all-evil choices, regardless of the extra cognitive load.
    – Abran
    Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 13:12
  • I've added some images to show that it is always possible for users to choose pre-paid or not. Yes, when Pay in terms is selected the pre-paid options are hidden, but that is the whole idea and it is easy to select pre-paid and see all the pre-paid options. I also wondered if it can be all in one list and added an example of that.
    – jazZRo
    Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 14:04
  • Hmmm, I hadn't though of adding the pay-in-terms option within the payment method input. Of course this is a simplified version, while the actual version is a bit more complicated. But it is definitely worth a try to see how it will work. Thank you!
    – Abran
    Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 15:03

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