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As general the required fields would be marked with an asterisk (*). Here comes the dilemma: There are some fields in the form which are required, but as a group(e.g 3.a/3.b/3.c). It's unnecessary to fill out all of them, is there any solution to express the meaning of 'at least one, but not limited?'. enter image description here

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    I would recommend something like my answer here: ux.stackexchange.com/a/84730/62535 just omit the "choose one" and perhaps write "choose at least one" – DasBeasto Oct 13 '15 at 12:11
  • As you already pointed out the asterisk next to the answers causes issues. Have you considered putting it next to the question? This would indicate that the user has to fill in something. Add a hint that multiple answers are possible. – John Sample Oct 13 '15 at 12:42
  • Are labels 3.a, 3.b and 3.c the same? For example are they for phone numbers or are they inconsistent? – Boris Delormas Oct 13 '15 at 13:03
  • Do you need to distinguish which of 3a, 3b or 3c were entered? Also, what's wrong with just saying "at least one"? "At least one" implies "not limited to 1", and I think most people know this. – R. Barzell Oct 14 '15 at 1:27
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Rather than presenting all three options at once, I'd suggest using a combination of a dropdown instead of a static label to choose which of the options (3a, 3b, or 3c) the user wishes to enter into the text input and, if the user is allowed to enter more than one option in the group, an 'add another' button that opens up another set of dropdown/text input fields for the user to add their second, third, fourth, etc.

  • While that is a plausible fix it doesn't seem like the best UX. The normal 2 step solution of filling out a field (click + type) turns into 4, (open dropdown, click choice, click field, type) plus an extra click for a subsequent fields (5 clicks) because of the 'add another'. Not to mention the development that'd go into removing the already used fields from the subsequent dropdowns choices. – DasBeasto Oct 13 '15 at 15:24
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    Good UX isn't always about the number of clicks an operation takes - In this case it's a trade off between the number of clicks and the user's understanding of the form - Even so, if the user doesn't understand that they only need to fill in one of the three options then it would become a six-click operation. Whatever the solution turns out to be is should definitely NOT be based on the amount of development required to implement it - that's not the users problem so it shouldn't factor into the decision of "what's best for the user" – Andrew Martin Oct 13 '15 at 15:33
  • Should be asking, what's the typical use case? Is most people going to be adding 1 item, or several items? If it's usually just 1, then extra clicks doesn't even become a factor for consideration. – nightning Oct 15 '15 at 19:27
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I think something like this needs to be spelled out in common language.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

I realize there's a certain clumsiness to this, seems wordy, but often there's no good alternative to natural language instructions.

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Please have a look at the image below:

enter image description here

Kindly comment if any query or suggestion.

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