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My current task involves enhancing the user experience (UI) in various sections of the SaaS product I'm working on. Within this system, some non-essential fields are currently concealed behind the 'set internal note...' function, effectively acting as an accordion.

I'm uncertain about the best approach based on existing research, or whether we should be concealing these fields at all. Additionally, I've noticed that left-aligned input headers can present challenges in form filling.

So, here's my query: Should we hide non-essential fields, or should we display all fields to the user? Have any of you come across examples or best practices in this regard?

Cheers!

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  • What did you do in your research to try and form an opinion for your design decision? And why were you uncertain about it?
    – Michael Lai
    Oct 19, 2023 at 0:09

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There is not a "best practice" to the general question that you have asked, because it depends on the design objective or user goal that you want to optimise.

In general, there is a conflict or tension between the speed and accuracy of filing out forms, so those that want to improve speed will typically only provide what is necessary for the user to fill out (or they can come back and do the rest later), while those that want to improve accuracy will try to make sure that all the proper context is provided for the user.

Also, often the idea of mandatory and optional fields are based on the system's perspective rather than the user perspective, so unless you have designed a system to cater specifically for a particular client, it is hard to say whether users provide trivial data for mandatory fields, and fill out optional fields all the time.

Such decisions are best made through more detailed research and collection of usage data, rather than looking for opinions outside of your customer or userbase.

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