I've been asked to build a form that captures a name and address of a user.

This should be easy: just name field, then address field.

Name and address are required.

But client wants name to be a company OR/AND an individual. And if individual then there are three fields: title, first name, second name.

and one OR/AND the other is required and has to be indicated as such.

Here's my attempt; I need to be able to group the name fields into one area and show which ones are required and optional:

enter image description here

My question: is it clear from this pattern which fields are required and which are optional?

Edit: the two options are NOT mutually exclusive so radio buttons are not possible

edit 2 this is the pattern we have; can you see any problems with it? enter image description here

  • Your comments below imply that it's not a mutually exclusive option, but your question and design clearly state it's an or situation, which is mutually exclusive. Can you clarify?
    – DA01
    Jul 13, 2015 at 15:33
  • Perhaps it's that both options have a name element - but even these can be tweaked in response to user selection.
    – Peter
    Jul 13, 2015 at 16:05
  • edited for DAO1
    – colmcq
    Jul 14, 2015 at 8:42

2 Answers 2


I would keep the Organization and Individual options as radio buttons. Keeping one of them checked. If user selects Organization, I will just hide the Mr. field.

And replace the address field with textarea to avoid multiple elements and clicks.

Something like this:

enter image description here

  • cant use radio buttons as options are not mutually exclusive
    – colmcq
    Jul 13, 2015 at 14:59
  • @colmcq I'm confused by that. Your question states it's one or the other. Are you saying it can be one and/or the other?
    – DA01
    Jul 13, 2015 at 15:32
  • @colmcq Can you replace the radios with combo-box or checkbox? If not that then think about Tabs. You have to somehow let the user make a choice (Organization/Individual) - without that the form will be cluttered with not so necessary elements.
    – Dipak
    Jul 13, 2015 at 17:02

Suggest getting the user to nominate via radio button which they want to enter, and only displaying the relevant fields. Would also suggest flagging optional fields, especially if (as is usually the case!) the optional fields are the exception.

  • cant use radio buttons as options are not mutually exclusive
    – colmcq
    Jul 13, 2015 at 15:00
  • Sure you can, as the radio buttons are just used to filter the form elements displayed and their required status. When going with the "organization" option, make the "name" / "last name" fields non-required. When going with the "individual" option, hide the "company name" and make it non-required. Consider using two forms as a fallback for users without javascript.
    – cjoy
    Jul 14, 2015 at 6:12
  • cant do that remote; the back end systems require it. Thants the sad thing
    – colmcq
    Jul 14, 2015 at 8:43

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