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There's a use case where we plan on having an error summary to describe better the errors they might have on a form. The documentation on the UK Government site is well-written and covers most scenarios, but there's something I would like input from you!

Do you think this component should be updated after some of/all errors are resolved? As per the attached example, should the error summary stay static after something is fixed, or should we provide immediate feedback?

The pros of updating:

  • You give immediate feedback on which errors still need attention
  • The summary doubles as a to-do list

The cons:

  • More errors could be added between the last attempt, and the summary only relates to the last "submit" action. The list might indicate no more errors, but there could be.

In the case of updating the error summary, should we also change the label after the last error is fixed? Something like: "You can try to submit your form again"?enter image description here

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  • unless you're doing validation on the fly, you'll need to submit anyway so updating error messages will be needed and expected
    – Devin
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 16:01
  • @Devin, yes there will be on-the-fly validation, but new items will only be added on a fresh submit. Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 16:02
  • So it sounds as if some items will be validated in-page on the fly, and others may require a submit, is that right?
    – Mattynabib
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 18:24

1 Answer 1

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If I am reading the Error summary component description correctly, it says that:

Always show an error summary when there is a validation error, even if there’s only one.

So it depends on when the validation happens for your particular form and how the validation is implemented.

If it happens straight after you move to the next input field, then you would update the error summary after that.

If you only do the validation all in one go when the user clicks the submit button, then you would update the error summary at that point.

The design pattern only addresses errors, so there is no need to indicate that a previous error has been fixed since it is no longer an error.

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