I have an application where users choose assignments to try over the coming days. When they choose an assignment, they state what they expect the outcome of the assignment to be. I'm not sure whether the "expected outcome" form should be on the same page, in a modal or on a separate page. Any best practices or suggestions?

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  • Can the user enter their expectation without starting? Can the user start without setting an expectation? Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 23:12
  • No, the user should only enter an expectation on an assignment that they are going to start.
    – kwh941
    Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 23:31

1 Answer 1


I would do the following:


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Since they can only enter the expectation when they start the assignment, the "Start" button can persist the expectation to the database if it is provided before opening the modal or redirecting to the assignment page. If no text is entered, then the "start" button just opens the modal or redirects.

Even though there are two actions being taken, there is no need for two buttons because the end result (modal or redirect) is the same.

If the "start" button's action includes other data entry tasks, then you could probably include the expectation textbox along with the rest. However you would need to give us some more context about what happens after you click the button to be any more specific than that.

Regardless, given what you have included in your question, the above refinement is still an improvement.

  • 2
    The way I understood the OP, the Start with this assignment button should be disabled until text is in fact entered. Only then does the button get enabled and the user can start the assignment after having stated his expectations. Other than that, perfect solution.
    – kontur
    Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 10:57
  • I agree that is a little ambiguous to me. The current implementation I have above assumes the expectation is optional. If it is required, disabling the button and indicating that the expectation field is required would be appropriate. Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 16:24

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