How to Simplify Data Entry with Icon Option Sets

Example of an icon option set on a record form

Simplifying data entry and optimising the appearance of record forms is sure to create a better experience for end-users, with resulting benefits in data quality.

The architecture of forms on model-driven apps enables administrators to increasingly use visualisations which provide added guidance and context to help users quickly, and accurately, complete these entries.

Using Power Apps Component Framework (PCF), the layout of forms in Dynamics 365, and other model-driven apps, can be enhanced through visual components. An option set field is a prime example of how these can be made into a more visual and interactive experience.

In the legacy Dynamics web client, option sets were typically formatted as a purely text-based option-set.


With PCF and the Unified Interface, small option sets can be displayed as a series of icon tiles which make it easier for users to select the appropriate item.

This can be applied to forms for any entity. For example, visualisations could cover a travel expense field:

Option set showing multiple transport options represented by an icon with a text title

Another example could reflect a product option set:

Product option set showing an icon and supporting title for  Dynamics 365, Excel, Outlook, Power Point and Word

Icons for each option set can be freely sourced from multiple places including the Microsoft Developer site.

Once the relevant icons are selected, administrators can adjust the selected colours to fit a brand palette, or unique preferences.

The same process will be followed to create option sets in Dynamics 365, or Power Apps. The icon and colours will be defined through the PCF control.

Within a list view, the regular text detail for these fields is shown:

List view showing rows with text field values
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