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We have a need to display validations - could be field validations or rule validations. Some of these validations can be overridden (i.e. the user can indicate that the particular field validation should not be enforced or rule validation should not be enforced). There are other validations that cannot be overridden.

The application context is insurance and the user is entering data provided on paper onto the online application. After validation is done the user will try to gather missing data but in some situations indicate that it is ok to process without that data (override). There are also rules like "age should be less than 60 yrs" but if the applicant just turned 60 the user should be able to bypass/ override that rule. I don't have a UI. Here are the mocks of some options - https://alouka.com/#MhYsW.

My questions are

  1. What is the best way to display these messages - in one group/list or two separate groups/list. Right on top of the form or separate from it?

  2. How do we handle the overrides - offer a way to override right next to the message or right next to the field (note: that won't work for rules)

  3. Should we allow the users the ability to select multiple and hit override. The primary goal of the validation is to correct/ complete the missing information

Thanks

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    You'll need to explain a bit more about your program's context before we can give you a real answer. Is the user creating a survey with specific types of inputs available? Can you provide a screenshot or diagram of what you have so far? – mouseas May 19 '15 at 23:07
  • The application context is insurance and the user is entering data provided on paper onto the online application. After validation is done the user will try to gather missing data but in some situations indicate that it is ok to process without that data (override). There are also rules like "age should be less than 60 yrs" but if the applicant just turned 60 the user should be able to bypass/ override that rule. I don't have a UI. Here are the mocks of some options - alouka.com/#MhYsW. Not too happy with either of them – shikarishambu May 20 '15 at 20:30
  • Your link doesn't work, but your comment that gives us something to go on. I'd recommend editing the information in your comment into the question itself. – mouseas May 20 '15 at 21:16
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Possible Solution

Given what you described, After validation is done the user will try to gather missing data but in some situations indicate that it is ok to process without that data (override), and assuming the users are insurance agents rather than lay-people, I would recommend the following process:

  1. user enters data from paper into computer program.
  2. user submits form data.
  3. validation occurs.
  4. form fields which fail validation are marked somehow.
  5. the fields which failed are highlighted, and the text cursor is placed in the first field which failed validation. If a field's validation can be overridden, it should be highlighted differently than those which cannot (e.g. yellow for override-able, red for non-override-able)
  6. user goes over the highlighted fields (tab should travel between invalid fields, skipping valid ones) and either provides a value or skips it. Skipping it constitutes choosing to override that field.
  7. user submits form data.
  8. validation occurs, but skips fields which are override-able and are unchanged since the previous round of validation.
  9. if any fields fail validation, go back to step 4 and repeat until all pass validation.

This doesn't cover some edge cases, it's only meant as a general overview. It's prioritized for data entry users rather than lay users; when entering lots of data, the best ux involves minimizing switches between mouse and keyboard. This way, the user can stay at the keyboard and zip through the needed form elements.


Alternate Possible Solution

Validate each field as the user tabs away from it. If it's override-able, provide a non-blocking input (e.g. a checkbox to the right of the input) to choose to override the field. If they move on without choosing, assume whichever (override or don't override) applies more often than the other. If it's not override-able, or the user chooses to not override, highlight the field to indicate its value isn't acceptable and needs attention.

  • If possible, I'd recommend playing an alert sound when a field fails validation so that if the user is looking down at the paper instead of the screen, they know to look up. – mouseas May 20 '15 at 21:47

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