This is a survey site, and after completing the survey the user has the option to send a copy of the report to themselves. There is a small container on the page, with a text field and a submit button. The user just needs to enter their email address and click on submit.

Now there's a new request to allow the user to enter 2 email addresses. The purpose of the 2nd email is to allow the user to send a copy of the report to a 2nd person. E.g. if I completed the survey and I want to send a copy of the report to my partner, I enter their email address.

There are a few ways to go about doing it, I'm just seeking advice as to which is a better approach.

  1. Add one more text field to the form. This is straightforward, but is kind of repeating UI to me.

  2. Change the text field to allow multiple email addresses, separated by comma or semi-colon. This will be accompanied by one line of text to inform the user of this feature.

  3. Use one text field, and when the user clicks on submit the action happens in the background. Just show that report has been sent, and give the user the option to enter another email address and click submit again.

  4. Still using one text field, just that there is a plus button added, so in the event that user needs to add in more than 1 email address, another field would appear below for them to enter. Using this approach, we would need to set a maximum number of email addresses to enter as that could affect the layout of the page.

The rest of the team seems to vote for Option 1. I personally would prefer Option 3, which is cleaner. So seeking advice from you guys how to go about presenting this to the user.

  • 1
    In addition to rags' question, how many people will provide a second email address? Is it going to be most people or only 1% of them?
    – JonW
    Commented May 29, 2013 at 9:43
  • @JonW As of current stage, we dont have a feasible number as yet, we just putting in the option in place first. Because user could just forward from the email they received to whoever they like. Having the functionality in the form is more of a convenient way for them?
    – Neo
    Commented May 29, 2013 at 9:55
  • Ah, so there could conceivably be more than one extra email. If they wanted to send the report to their whole department then you'd want them to be able to specify multiple additional email addresses?
    – JonW
    Commented May 29, 2013 at 10:05
  • 2
    Neo, the real question users will be asking: why send the report at all? After all, if I completed the survey, I know the answers, right? Some may even suspect this is a sneak attempt to harvest e-mail addresses. Commented May 29, 2013 at 11:51
  • 2
    I think I'd not support it at all. Have the user forward the email if they think somebody else needs it too... Certainly not option 1. If you want 2, why not 3, or 5? You can also consider accepting a comma or return in the email field as an email separator. Many email programs do that. Those few who need and want that, could use that.
    – André
    Commented May 29, 2013 at 11:56

4 Answers 4


This is most often handled by contact applications, and Gmail contacts does a good job with this. Essentially, you provide a discrete button to "add email address", which then will provide another field to add a second address.

enter image description here

This way you don't distract the majority of users that will only add a single email address, but you make it clear for anyone that wants more than one email address.

  • 1
    +1 You don't need another form/page to include as many form fields as a user wishes
    – yo'
    Commented May 29, 2013 at 10:32
  • 1
    Although I would probably make the add email 'button' a little more 'clickable' Commented May 29, 2013 at 15:16
  • I don't think I've actually seen this in Gmail. Do you have a better screenshot that clearly shows this feature?
    – M Bo
    Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 18:15
  • This was answered more than 8 years ago, so I don't have a current screenshot of this. However, whether Gmail does this still or not, doesn't change the answer from a generic UX perspective.
    – JohnGB
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 22:58

If the purpose of this email field is purely as an addressee for whom you want to send the report to, then why not mimic a traditional email application (as that's basically what the form is doing itself).

Give it a 'To' field which would be the compulsory field, and add a 'CC' field in there too, so they can add one or more additional email addresses in there. Give them the ability to split out the emails by commas or semicolons, just as they would be able to do in a traditional email application.


  • 1
    Unless it is really an e-mail client, I'm never sure on such pages whether I can include multiple addresses in the field. It can be written there, but that starts to be quite heavy machinery IMHO :-/
    – yo'
    Commented May 30, 2013 at 7:04

After the survey is submitted, repeatedly show a dialog to the user till he says No, Thanks

enter image description here

  • As this is the survey result page, i try not to show any popup dialog kind as it might disrupt the user reading the report. :)
    – Neo
    Commented May 29, 2013 at 10:21
  • this is to be shown after submitting the survey
    – rags
    Commented May 29, 2013 at 10:24

Option 1 has the flaw that you are fixed on 2 mail addresses then. Before you were fixed on one. What if someone wants to enter 3?

Option 2 requires the users to read and understand how the addresses should be entered. It might also be harder to provide client-side validation for this.

Option 3 can be used in addition to whichever way you choose. It can’t hurt to provide this option after the form is submitted. Even more so when you have nothing else to show than a confirmation message.

Option 4 would be the best. Such a button does not distract those users that only want to enter one address. It will be clearly understood without having to read something. And it is flexible.

So I’d go with option 4. And where appropriate option 3 in addition.

But I think you shouldn’t restrict the number of possible addresses simply because of your layout – better fix your layout. However, restricting the number might be required because of potential "attacks" (sending massive amounts of mails that way).

A nice solution might be to inform your users, as soon as they entered the maximum amounts of addresses, that they should better use the (B)CC function of their mail clients when they want to inform so many people about the survey reports.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.