In Progress

Highlight Incomplete Required Fields When Closing a Task in Task Inbox

Maureen Monaghan 10 months ago in Productivity Management updated by Steve Dixon 4 months ago 16

In the Legacy Task Inbox, if the user selects Close on a task when not all required fields have been populated, an exclamation mark in a red circle highlights and identifies required fields to be populated.
This feature pinpoints missed required fields and is very helpful to quickly isolate what information is necessary to complete the task; especially when working with lengthy DCTs.
This request is to add this highlight feature to the Task Inbox.


As we are continuing to work on our UI pages in various areas we want to align our user experience and controls where possible.  As we are doing to the new View/Edit page styling we want to align the Task Inbox to have similar style and behavior.  We will be making the following updates to the Task Inbox.

  • We will be updating the font size and color on the fields labels and sections in the Task Inbox to match the new style.
  • Required fields will no longer have the "asterisk".  Instead all NON required fields will display the phrase "- optional" next to the label the same as the new View/Edit page style.  This is to help with usability and better aligns with WCAG guidelines.
  • When the user attempts to complete the task, if fields fail validation, the specific fields that failed will have the entire field outlined in "red" so that it is clearly marked and easy to find for the user.
  • We are considering expanding the alert message at the top of the page to specifically list out which fields failed as well to help the user know what to look for but this is still being reviewed and not final yet.

This work has been committed to a team and should begin sometime in July with the hope to release in August or September depending on the effort.  These changes will likely be tied to the New Field Styling feature flag when released initially.

What if the field is read only?  will you be displaying optional after each one?  I don't think I agree with adding this text to every non required field, especially if it's read only. I'll have to bring this back to our users for input.  I am curious as to what the rest of the user community thinks. 

I agree that read only fields wouldn't need an optional indication. 

It would not display for read-only fields.  It would only show for editable fields.  This is just switching over the flow.  Instead of scanning each label to see if it has a tiny "asterisk" at the end of the label to know its required.  The user scans the page for all fields that do not have the "- optional" phrase at the end.  Which should be much easier to notice than hunting for the single little asterisk.  

Also, want to make sure everyone understands that Aprimo did not come up with this design paradigm on our own, this is part of the general Google material design guidelines which in general Aprimo is following for much of our new UX styling and behavior.  We are doing this because it is an industry standard used by many web developers.  The expectation is your users should already be seeing this "- optional" approach along with our other style changes on other web pages and forms in their daily life so it should not be the first time they encounter it.  I know I personally have noticed it when I am filling out things online on different sites.  Hope this helps understand the reasoning behind some of these changes.

I get it, but I'm not sure google is using this in the way our groups are where we have 15-20 fields on a task.  I am wondering if it would be easier to see "Required" instead of optional.

Could you provide mock ups that show both ways so we could share with our users? I'm just concerned that it will actually be more difficult to find the required fields when 12 of the 15 fields on the screen say Optional.  A sea of optional!

Brad, what is the use case to show 15 fields in a DCT that are all editable by the user but only have 3 of them required?  I agree that is not an ideal view but I would say that will be a frustrating user experience either way you do it.  Either I scan 15 fields looking for 3 asterisks or I scan 15 fields looking for 3 that are missing the word optional.  Both would seem like a frustrating experience honestly.  Are the 3 required fields grouped together at the top or scattered throughout?  

We made specific changes in the product to help reduce clutter in Tasks and improve user experience.  We added the option to configure fields to show in the Info panel and the ability to allow the user (even a contributor) to click on the Activity or Project title and view the Details page to find information so that you would need to put less in the DCTs themselves.  Hopefully get rid of those 50 field DCTs filled with Read-only EAs, etc.  The hope would be to keep the information on the task as minimal as possible.

It's not so much for input into that specific task, but rather within a task in the process the users want the ability to change the data on the fields so we make them editable. 

We are working now to prepare for task inbox with a redesign of all of our DCTs to move the required fields up into a displayed section and the non required into a collapsed section, but it doesn't always make sense due to cascading values and data flow. Sometimes we will have to mix the required in with the non required due to cascading sections.

Agree with Brad, we are in the process of doing the exact same thing with our DCTs.  The idea is to highlight the required fields as best as possible so users can quickly navigate to the fields they need to perform an action on.  Asking users to locate fields missing an extremely light/faint/small '- optional' sign seems counterintuitive to that goal.  However, I think you can leave optional sign, you just need to make the required fields much more pronounced.

*Eric saw your note on the font comment above, but the premise of differentiating the required fields from the optional still holds true.

Ok thanks but keep in mind the font size and style is also going to change with these updates.  So the labels will not be as small anymore as they are today.  That is another thing we wanted to address with these updates.  The color should have a better contrast to it also.

Sorry, I edited my original comment after submitting regarding my knowing of your font comment above.  Is there any way to get a screenshot of what the new font would look like (similar to the one you have below)?

Also agree with Brad & Matt, we also went through the exercise of re-designing the DCTs for use with the new Inbox.


The new DCTs we created still have quite a few attributes on them, some are required with no value at that time, some required but already populated earlier in the process which might need updating, and some optional and some read only reference attributes. These attributes being group with the required ones at the top of the section where possible. 

The idea being to reduce the need to click through to Activity/Project details and provide the as much of the details as possible on the current screen. The DCTs providing control over the attribute entry/display given the stage of the process.

We have also used the new Info panel to display some common attributes but it is limited a little by the fact that the panels are not activity/project dependant.

From an accessibility point of view where the colour may not be clear to some, I would have thought it would be better to detail the required fields. It would be far easier to look/listen for 'required'.

It may be that given the variety of use cases sometimes the 'required' approach works better and sometimes the 'optional' may be better. Could it therefore be implemented as a system setting?


The Task Inbox took a different approach to how it highlights required fields.  The section header is marked with the "orange" border by the title and we show the required field counter on the right hand side with the count (in this case 0 / 1) and it is also orange when not completed.  So users can quickly see that this section in the task in still missing something that is required.  They can see this even if they have that section collapsed.  Once they have completed all the fields in a section the required field counter changes from orange or green and the total will match (the green 3 / 3 ) shown on the work list section.

So you are asking that we also still put some additional icon or indication directly next to the field(s) that are missing within the DCT?  I assume this is mainly related to DCTs and not necessarily the other panels in the Inbox?

The little red star next to the EA within the DCT is not enough of a differentiator.  Highlighting or making it larger would definitely help especially with the older attorney's that use this system on our side.

Hi Eric - Yes. The counter is a very nice feature but as you suggested, yes, highlighting/providing some indication directly next to the field(s) that are missing on the DCT is the request.

Many of our DCTs have a significant number of fields to populate.

The #1 piece of feedback from a group of users who we have given early access to the new UI in our sandbox is they are spending extra time trying to find all of the required fields, task processing time is part of our metrics. In the legacy My Tasks, they use the "highlight" feature constantly to quickly identify missing information.

Thanks and let me know if you have any questions.

We would find an additional indication next to the specific EA that is required but not complete helpful as well. In large DCTs, even though the field counter makes it clear there is something missing, it can still be hard to find where the empty required EA is. The red exclamation mark previously used in legacy tasks would make it quick & easy to scroll through a large DCT and find where the missing EA is.