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I am trying to understand best practices around dynamic forms v/s static forms. e.g. Say I have a business flow with Create/Modify/View Now say for View screen, the fields applicable are Field 1 | Field 2 | Field 3 But for Create, Field 2 is not applicable. So, is it preferable to show only Field 1 | Field 3 OR show all 3 fields with Field 2 as blank.

We were brainstorming on the same and my personal view was to not show any fields which are not applicable. However, the counter viewpoint is that having dynamic forms is not a clean approach, since users eyes might get adjusted to viewing in a certain pattern.

I feel that since the order of the other visible fields can still be kept the same, there should not be any issue for the user.

Just wanted to understand if there are any documented best practices around the same.

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Here are some points to consider.

Think about who creates the data and who consumes them. If there are 10 users who create/modify data and 10 000 users who only view the data, then similarity between create/modify form and view form is not necessarily needed. These can be two very different forms.

Don't consider view mode as a create/modify mode with disabled fields. Keep in mind that fields in the create/modify mode take more space than in a view mode. That's why view mode doesn't have to use the same layout as the create/modify mode.

If the only users who view data are exactly the same who create/modify them, then it might make sense to use the same layout. But in such case consider grouping the fields that are available in each mode so that users easily recognize the pattern and separate visually any "extra" fields, e.g. put the "extra" fields at the bottom of the form.

And don't decide for users. Ask them what would they prefer.

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  • Thanks...In this case, we do not have direct contact to the actual users for some business reason... But yeah, I agree when you say "Don't consider view mode as a create/modify mode with disabled fields." Apr 30, 2023 at 13:05
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Two potential personas here: Creator, and Viewer.

It sounds like field 2 might be "good to know about" for Creator, who may or may not know what the Viewer experience will be like. For example, Field 1 might be a mortgage rate and field 3 the actual mortgage amount for the Viewer. As such, you could include a line of informational text: eg. "Viewer will see calculated mortgage amount here." This helps the Creator perceive the impact of the final layout more clearly.

This pattern is somewhat similar (if in reverse) to heads-up info provided to users when they are filling in forms to use a public service and can't be sure what will be seen and not see publicly. A single line of reassuring text eg. "This will information will not be shared" is helpful.

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