I'd like to get some opinions on the subject of dynamically displaying
form elements depending on user selection.
For example assume I have an HTML form to enter a contest, and I can
fill out this form on my behalf or someone else's. For this scenario the
form might have a field labeled something along the lines of "This entry
is for:" and the radio buttons labeled "myself" and "someone else"
Now if a user selects "someone else" the form needs to collect the name
of the someone. So should that additional field be displayed when the
form initially loads, or should it be dynamically displayed only when a
user selects the "someone else" radio button.
I've done some initial tests and found that a slight majority of the
individuals prefer it always be displayed. They were almost surprised
when it suddenly appeared after selecting someone else. Also, younger,
more web savvy individuals didn't mind the dynamic display.
As usual the decision to do this would need to be case by case. For
example if there are many fields that need this behavior it may not be
suitable, or if the need for whole fieldsets are determined by user
input this probably wouldn't be optimal (may want to go with a more
wizard-esque approach there). But for simple, smaller forms where only
one or two fields might be able to use this, what do you guys think?
Display the additional fields from the get-go, or only show them when