As enablers of online conversations between businesses and customers, Web forms are often responsible for gathering critical information—email addresses for continued communications, mailing addresses for product shipments, and billing information for payment processing to name just a few. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that one of the most common questions I get asked about Web form design is: “How do I deal with international addresses?”
But before we get into the nuances of address variations, it’s worth pointing out that addresses have a commonly understood structure. Through years of experience with mailing and postal systems, people have a pretty concrete idea of what constitutes an address block. This common understanding is so definitive that eyetracking data suggests, once people begin filling in a set of input fields that make up an address, they often cease looking at their labels. The basic structure of an address is so familiar, people don’t need the guidance labels provide. Read More
Please note that our ad-hoc test setup didn’t resemble real-world conditions. Since I had to properly measure saccadic activity and saccades times, I had to eliminate all elements that would force users to visually browse through the pages we used during testing.
We based our test setup on Luke Wroblewski’s article “Web Application Form Design.” Luke provided valuable insights and feedback during both our test preparation and results analysis. Thank you, Luke! Thus, we were able to subject Luke’s theories to usability testing and enrich them through the power of numeric data. Read More
This is my first Good Questions column for UXmatters. In this column, I’ll be writing about questions. When communicating with users in one direction, we typically ask them questions—often through forms or surveys. When communication goes in the other direction, we try to respond to users’ questions—both through the design of our Web applications and other products and, sometimes, in assemblies of what we hope will be their Frequently Asked Questions.
In January 2010, Janet Six’s column, Ask Matters, “Label Alignment in Long Forms,” included extensive discussion of one of the most frequently asked questions about forms design: where to put labels in relation to their fields.
Don’t worry. I’m not going to discuss labels further in this column. But thinking about labels reminded me of another question we hear from time to time: Should we put a hint inside a text box?Read More