I have two forms of which some elements overlap.

I was wondering how should I approach the situation, there is a possibility to use tabs, one for the common fields and other two for the corresponding form elements for different categories. Other option is I can save the common elements in a temporary database on 'Next' button click then present the relevant form based on the selection of the category in the previous page. What else can I do ?

Sorry if I wasn't clear the first time.

Let me try to explain with an example, say I have a signup page. And my website supports two kind of users, user A and user B, if user A wants to signup he/she has to fill signup Form A and likewise user B fills up signup Form B. Since both of these users are of different type(different role on the website) they provide different kind of information(elements) to signup with. But some information(elements) is common on both the forms, for example like : Name, Email etc. The actual forms are big and complex and ask complex data from the users of both types but some information they ask are similar. And I don't want to make two different forms with some of the same elements.

  • Can you use AJAX to present fields dynamically based on conditional logic?
    – Alex P
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 14:19
  • Can you attach an illustration so we better understand the problem. Right now I don't know what are you asking exactly. Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 14:45
  • We need more clarity on your situation and your use case (and preferably examples of the interface elements you are currently working with) to make any solid recommendations.
    – Mattynabib
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 15:29
  • @AlexP Yes I can.
    – StudentX
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 16:38
  • @KristiyanLukanov I have updated the question.
    – StudentX
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


You say that you don't want to make two different forms with some of the same elements. While you may have your own reasons for this, it will probably be more useful from the user's point of view, as well as being easier to build.

Assuming the needs of the user groups are quite different, then they will have different reasons for signing up. Assuming you have two user groups, it's likely that they'll easily be able to decide which group they belong to, and make the correct choice at the start of the signup process. As a result, it is unlikely that they will need to see (or even be aware of) the 'other' sign up form.

You could use AJAX to load different fields conditionally, but this requires extra complexity to design, will probably take longer to build, and will require extra user and QA testing. Also, if the two groups' required fields differ substantially from each other, it could increase the likelihood of user error. Some users may not notice the fields being added, removed or changed based on their earlier choices until it is pointed out to them.

The simplest option is likely the best. Have separate forms for each of the user groups, providing a clear and focused journey for each.

  • That makes sense
    – StudentX
    Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 4:00

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