I have a questionnaire that engineers can complete. The questionnaire can either be mandatory or non mandatory. In the mandatory Q all questions are mandatory. In the non mandatory Q no questions are mandatory.

In both cases the questionnaires can be left partially complete because the engineer is likely not able to complete all questions in the same session. The mandatory Q must be filled out by a date specified by the system.

My solution has to list a mix of questionnaires and indicate the mandatory ones. The system must also indicate that a questionnaires is a)not complete b)partially complete c)complete

Here is the wires I received (You have to imagine that the top small wireframe is a list and would contain lots of questionnaires but I have only shown 1) enter image description here

here is my solution enter image description here

(I have taken out the CAC code cos its not needed, in case you wondered)

If the questionnaire is not mandatory then the only difference the user would see is that 'not completed' would be blue in that small top wireframe list.

My question: is this enough for the user to see which questionnaires are mandatory in a way that is not confusing? Is there a better way of showing all the 6 states possible (incomplete mandatory, incomplete non-mandatory etc)?

1 Answer 1


I see two issues with your design.

  • It is not accessible to color blind users.
  • Once a questionairre has been completed, there is no way to tell if it was mandatory. I could imagine this being something people might want to know.

However, the top design suffers from a lack of clarity. While * to indicate that a form field is mandatory is a well-known convention, the meaning is not so clear when applied to an entire form.

I would combine both designs. The red highlight on "Not Completed" emphasizes the action needed, but you could also have a * on the mandatory forms, with an explanation (* indicates mandatory).

I would imagine you would also want to highlight the due date for each mandatory form in some way. Perhaps they could say something like "Due 2014-11-01" instead of "Not Completed".

  • thanks dan, I already indicated to tech that mandatory state should be available after completion. My colleague Alex preferred the initial solution FYI as he found the not complete in red confusing.
    – colmcq
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 12:45

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