For my application I need to build forms where value/state of one input would depend on the value/state of another input.

For example, selecting a date from a date picker would change the selected value in a dropdown which contains the quarters of the year. I have a solution in place which builds a hierarchy of inputs and iterates through a collection of rules to change state of input.

I need a generic data driver solution for implementing this feature across different pages but don't know the term to search for. Is there a generic term for this kind of feature?

2 Answers 2


This type of form interaction has been coined by web forms guru Luke W. as "selection-dependent inputs". He talks about it here: http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?764 and http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2007/02/selection-dependent-inputs.php

The biggest issue with this interaction style is that it can disorientate the user, if it is not done properly. I do not suggest using it, if the number of dependent inputs is large and comes from many different input selections that aren't immediately related.

The most complex example of dynamic forms with selection-dependent inputs that I've ever come across is with tax software. eg. TurboTax. It might be helpful to see how they manage this level of complexity using their wizard-like interface. Maybe getting in contact with Leah Buley (author of UX Design Team of One). She used to work at Intuit, so she might have some insights into how they managed this problem, and what decisions were made to solve it.


"Cascading dependencies" between user interface components.

  • 3
    Can you provide a source or add further detail?
    – tim.baker
    Commented Dec 27, 2014 at 23:57
  • General computer science terms. Here is a concrete example from Microsoft youtube.com/watch?v=aYvmuIdS4mM
    – akarve
    Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 2:55

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