This question involves a huge form in a web application for bookings. This form in its initial state contains "read-only" fields and the user can select to perform several actions. For example, one action is to amend a booking. By selecting the "amend" action some of the initially "read-only" fields are now editable and the user can change their values and resubmit the form. There are more actions available for the user and each action makes different fields editable. Moreover, the editable fields per action are not sequential. Can be fields on the top of the form and on the bottom. Note that the form is so huge that the user will need to scroll down to see all the editable fields. One other thing is that only one action is allowed at the time.

So one option would be to create a modal box per action with all the fields available for editing according to the action selected. In that way, it is also ensured that one action per time is performed.

Could anyone suggest of other alternatives?

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  • You can also try to only show the fields that need editting. Or move the needed fields to the top of the page. Oct 14, 2015 at 14:01

1 Answer 1


The solution with the modal box seems your best option here.

Filtering the fields or moving them up based on action will confuse your users because the position of the selected fields will be different from the initial state and possible between actions too, making it harder to complete the needed tasks reliably.

Also, considering that the fields become editable only after selecting an action, is the initial form really necessary?

If you need to show all that information, you could do it in a more sensible way by getting rid of the fields. You could then use either a modal box or an inline form under the info to edit the fields for each action (the fields would of course change between the actions; in this case there won't be an initial state of the form with all the fields to confuse users).

  • The initial form is necessary for previewing the data when no further action is needed, moreover some users of the system will not have permissions to do any action but they will need to see the information of a booking. So you are suggesting to display the information but not in a form - field way.. Sounds like a good idea...
    – Stevy
    Oct 15, 2015 at 7:39

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