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I have an optional feature that requires a bit of setup from the user when its enabled, they have to fill in a form with ~8 fields when enabling this feature. I'm wondering if when the feature gets disabled I should blank the settings out or leave them in case they want to re-enable at some point in the future?

One concern is that some of these settings are a username and password, the password won't be displayed, but If I left the settings intact it would continue be used as the credential when the feature is re-enabled.

  • Can you add a wireframe or screenshot of what you have currently – Mervin Johnsingh May 13 '15 at 19:37
  • Sorry, the wireframe Nodnin provided is pretty close – Kevin May 14 '15 at 0:50
  • Can you provide some more context for this? What's the purpose of this form in your application? – Brian May 18 '15 at 16:42
  • Ya, basically they are setting up communication for a remote server, but this is an entirely optional feature that can be easily turned off – Kevin May 19 '15 at 18:51
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For this functionality you must consider how frequently users are likely to enable or disable the feature. I see no problem in keeping all the settings intact when user sets it for the first time.

Additionally you can,

  • Ask user if they want to clear out the settings when they disable.
  • Ask user to use the previous settings when they enable again.

Just because the system has credentials, I would not clear it out. The credential information is still held securely by the system. In fact if the operation of enabling and disabling is frequent the constant need to re-enter everything is going to dent your user experience.

If this is a one of case, or when user disables, it is going to stay that way for a long time, then as I said, you can prompt user to clear out the configuration of the feature.

Also, I would refrain from using a checkbox if that hides a big configuration. I might be wrong but many times, I identify checkboxes with quick changes you make to the system. A configuration form that follows after change of checkbox, may not be a good UX. I would instead have a button that opens up the configuration dialog and has options to enable / clear.

  • This is interesting, the feature should mostly be a set an forget sort of thing, its dealing with remote backup, but asking about keeping the configuration would probably work well – Kevin May 19 '15 at 18:54
  • Glad to be of help. – Harshal May 19 '15 at 19:14
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So let us assume that the checkbox enables a form that the user needs to fill.When checkbox is checked, the form is displayed and the user could fill up the form and could submit the form saving all the input in the form, when disabled it shows tooltip explaining the contents below it.

It would have easier to answer this question if an initial wireframe or mock up is added to the question.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

  • Yes, this is pretty close to it – Kevin May 14 '15 at 0:48

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