Assume a scenario where you can multiple projects under each course object. There is a nested object creation form like the one below

enter image description here

Given the maximum limit of 5 Projects. Which is a better scenario ?

Option A: Disable Add after 5 Projects are added. Option B: Do not prevent adding a new project and but show error on 'SAVE' if exceeded. [But highlight the MAX: 5 in bold red (or some visual way) when projects are being added beyond the limit].

The advantage of Option B is that, if the user wants to replace a project he has the option to add new and then delete, rather than forcing him to delete before adding. The advantage of Object A is that error is preemptively prevented, but with a trade-off of a little flexibility.

Thoughts ? Suggestions ? Which is better Option A or B ? Or is there a better way to do this ?

  • Have you got the Options around the wrong way in your comparison there? i.e. if Option A = 'disabled Add button'...then how can user "add new and then delete" in order to replace?
    – JTech
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 4:35
  • @JTech: obviously it wouldn't be disabled in option B...? Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 7:22
  • @JTech: Yes, I did get the Options wrong. Edited. Thanks Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 22:04

2 Answers 2


Maybe option C:

  • Don't disable Add at the actual maximum


  • Disable Add at the maximum PLUS 1
  • Disable Save at the maximum PLUS 1

Please always explain why buttons are disabled - and don't rely on hover for that.


I would lean towards disabling the Add button once the limit is reached, in order to avoid having the user enter the information for the new Project just to be told that he/she cannot actually add it due to the maximum having been reached.

You might compliment this with a tooltip over the disabled Add button informing the user why it is disabled: "Maximum number of Projects reached. You must delete an existing Project before adding another."

If tooltip is undesirable then perhaps this helper text could be added as a label near the disabled button, or even at the bottom of the Projects list...

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