I have a form that allows the user to add a "Location" for a particular entity.

Each location should have an "Assignee."

In that sense, the "Assignee" is required, however, the user does not have to input it at the same time they are adding the location; they can add the assignee after they've already added the location. This is because our users may not have all this information together all at once.

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So this is how the process will go:

  1. User adds a location
  2. User can input at assignee (or skip it for now)
  3. User edits the location. At this point, the assignee is required. They won't be able to save any changes to the location unless they add an assignee

What's rubbing against me is while it works, it feels wrong to have a field not be required, but they required only during edit.

  • Is this the only field in this form that needs special logic, or is there more than one?
    – Izquierdo
    Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 21:58
  • "Assignee" in this form is the only one that needs special logic. So yes, only this one field.
    – M Bo
    Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 22:20
  • 1
    Can you by-pass the required field in edit mode by just ignoring/closing/leaving it without saving? In other words, if one can add without assignee, what happens when it never gets edited?
    – jazZRo
    Commented Jun 16, 2022 at 7:37
  • 1
    I can only see two reasons for this required field only in edit mode: 1) Users are somehow forced to edit later if they added without assignee. 2) You want to stimulate users to still add an assignee when they didn't do that earlier (but there might be better ways to stimulate that)
    – jazZRo
    Commented Jun 16, 2022 at 7:49
  • 1
    How would one correct a typo immediately after creating the Location? At that point, the user still doesn’t have the assignee. So editing might happen for different reasons, and it doesn’t make sense to force Assignee there. I’m joining @jazZRo in that you should find another presentation that reminds the user which Location still need assignees.
    – Andy
    Commented Jun 16, 2022 at 13:52

1 Answer 1


Without knowing too much about the project, you might allow users to save the form in an Unassigned state. (If you're familiar with project management systems, think of how you might create a ticket for a project, and leave it unassigned). The user would ideally be able to see all unassigned items in a view, and easily assign them when they have the appropriate information. Assignees can only be changed to other assignees later on - can't revert a form to Unassigned.

A table showing three projects, one of them unassigned with an Assign button

The challenge with not allowing a form to revert to an Unassigned state is that the Assigned entity might become unavailable in the future. For example, if the Redmond location is assigned to Jackie, and Jackie leaves, what happens next?

Might be a consideration to bring up to decision-makers on the project.

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