Finding the right balance between simplicity of use and flexible configuration is an ongoing challenge for anyone designing software. The real task of design is to define how to progressively expose advanced options only when needed. And when they are exposed, great design becomes critical to providing a clear visual summary of everything that’s happening.
SlideRoom’s form builder has always been extremely simple. This year, we went through a grueling design process to accomodate the option of adding conditional followup questions.
Applicants don’t always need to complete the exact same set of questions. For instance, academic institutions typically have unique followup questions for international applicants. Further, those questions may depend on a variety of answer possibilities, each with their own followup questions.
Let’s look at a common example: citizenship.
Once the answer options have been defined, the question collapses into the format presented to applicants. Hovering over that question will expose the option to “add follow-up rule.” This will show a rule-editor where you can choose an answer and define the related follow-up questions.
To add multiple rules, hover over the parent question again and click to add another rule. Each rule may contain multiple follow-up questions. As you are building these conditions, a clear visual summary is presented to the parent/child relationship of the questions remain clear.
This logic only goes one level deep. In other words, the newly exposed questions can’t dynamically expose even more questions. This limitation was added to keep the system easy to use and prevent unintended constructions.