I am creating somewhat of a reminders feature for my app and one of the features (time) is optional. When all options are selected, I have an ideal layout with one item in each corner of the card. When the time is missing, however, I feel that it is best to move the category to the bottom left for readability, even though the cards with time have the category in the bottom right. I want to keep the layout of the first card because the title and time are most important, so by keeping them left aligned users can scan and get the important information first. My issue is, with the second card (no time), will the inconsistency in card design throw users off, even if the readability is improved this way? An image is provided below:
I'd prefer always right-aligning the category (under the yellow disk as in the task above), also if no time is specified/selected:
Personally, for the sake of "look (exactly) there (always) and you'll find it".
If a category is named:
- or even 🕔 11:00 am
and if it's left-aligned (right below the task's title) then there is a category, which looks like a time, located at the usual place of a "real" time but it isn't one: it's a category. That's confusing then.
PS: Revised 2. to make it clearer.
I understand your concern about layout consistency with respect to usage, but I think before checking for functionality issues you should create a firm base framework to support it. At the moment, at first glance, it's perceived that there is absolutely no equitable margins. This doesn't mean they must all be the same, but they should maintain a criterion, at least in equivalent areas (for example, following the below image: g and h). Without this foundation, any visual layout fix will be a patch with no solution at all.
To answer the question, the easiest and most immediate solution is to keep the unanswered form field without content. In forms, the usual thing regarding optionality is to fill in or not the field, not remove it.