I have a use case in a modal where the user can select forms and define criteria based off of what they have selected. All of the criteria dependencies based off what form the user has selected remain the same in 90% of the use cases, but I have identified a new edge case where the dependencies may change.

Do you think that it's okay to change the form fields depending on what the user has selected, or would using progressive disclosure be a better idea if the criteria fields are going to change?

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2 Answers 2


Progressive disclosure is meant to divide the UI into manageable chunks so as not to overwhelm the user with too many options and choices all at once. It's not meant to isolate each decision into a step of its own (that would be a wizard, and quite a tedious one). There's nothing wrong with dynamically changing the UI within the same screen based on the user's decisions, and it even has the upside of better reflecting to the user the meaning of the different choices they make. This enhances the feeling of control and helps them learn the system.

A good example would this dialog from MS Outlook, where changing the recurrence from Weekly to Monthly immediately changes the fields affected by that change: enter image description here enter image description here

Under the "extreme progressive disclosure" approach, this would entail navigating to a different screen and then back again in case you wanted to change your decision. I think it's easy to see that this is the friendlier option.


If Normal Form fits 90% of cases, it should be the default. But, if the user realizes after filling out the fields that Form With Tags would have been the better selection, they might be frustrated with going back and filling in different options - wasted effort.

I would recommend changing the Select Form Type dropdown to radio buttons so the user can see all of their options before proceeding to fill in more information.

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