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I have a textbox where the user can enter a number. In the past, an empty value would indicate that they didn’t know the value. Now, the client wants to add an extra step where the user needs to specify that they don’t know the value, otherwise the textbox should be marked as mandatory. They think this would increase the chance of people filling in the textbox.
I’m trying to limit space to make sure the form isn’t too large. I’m looking for a bunch of different ideas. I thought of adding a checkbox beside the textbox (I’m using Bootstrap), which would set the textbox as disabled.
But it doesn’t look intuitive. I don’t want a bunch of people calling the helpdesk.
if the need is to be specific, make them choose.
Instead of a checkbox, try radio buttons. These are used for mutually exclusive choices.
If the default is that most users know the value, you can have that preselected, so there’s nothing else to do but enter a number.
The example above is just using some sample text, but this way there is no guessing about what the checkbox would do.
In a previous project we went for something just like you thought of, just a bit more visually clean:
Why it’s good:
- Law of proximity (you clearly see the connection of form field & checkbox)
- Clear visual feedback (change happens upon checking the box, grayed out form field is clearly disabled now)
Now I don’t know if this is enough to increase the amount of people filling it in. Maybe there could be a little info button like
(i) that opens a popup, which explains the benefit of filling this in.
In our customer’s case, users would only get warranty if they filled this in, otherwise it’s only for personal tracking. So the value was already very clearly given.
The field should use whatever pattern you’ve established for a required field since there is a required answer (i.e. you know the number and enter or you don’t know the number). I’d go with a checkbox that makes the field inactive, or a toggle. I don’t know if I’d put the checkbox in the field as that’s a pretty uncommon pattern.
I can’t really comprehend why the client thinks this will make more people enter a value. If I saw this I would assume that information is something that is needed, but not necessarily now.