Lets say we have an app that currently requires manual entry of:

  • Hours
  • Current Firmware Version
  • Compatible Objects (hardware)
  • Serial Number

If the user elects not to fill in this information, or maybe even just some of it, what are best practices to display the current statuses? Leave them Blank, N/A, Unknown, Empty, Unavailable? Should each of these fields be considered independently or should we return a uniform, consistent result? The goal is to have the person fill in all of this information but it isn't required.

  • Hours n/a
  • Current Firmware Version n/a
  • Compatible Objects (hardware) n/a
  • Serial Number n/a

1 Answer 1


It depends on the visualisation of the data. Will it be shown in a readonly form or in a card or list view?

I use it like this for a form:

enter image description here

In a cards view the empty fields are just not shown:

enter image description here

  • Thanks for taking the time to respond. I'll try to get in the habit of adding screen shots and being more specific in the future. It will be presented in a list view, kind of like the list I created in the description, but the values will be underneath the labels. It was suggested to me by a colleague offline that I use "--" to represent data not entered. I think that works well for my needs in this case.
    – Switters
    Apr 20, 2016 at 20:57

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