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
Recently, I received the good news that one of my columns is in the UXmatters All-Time Top 25: “Don’t Put Hints Inside Text Boxes in Web Forms.” That was an unusual article for me because I came straight out and said, “Don’t.” Not “it depends”—just “don’t.” And it generated a lot of discussion—none of which changed my views.
So, I’m going to do it again and say, “Don’t put labels inside text boxes.” Well, okay, what I’m actually going to say is, “Don’t put labels inside text boxes—unless you’re Luke Wroblewski.”
And now, I think I’d better explain what I mean. Read More