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
If you’re designing a product you want to sell globally, assuming every consumer across the world has the same needs and expectations won’t get you far. Knowing and understanding what makes people different is what will determine your success.
It’s time to admit that most UX designers are designing and building products for a tiny, tiny segment of the world population. But there are billions of other people out there, who are using millions of devices, in not quite the same ways we use them and in environments that are entirely different from those to which we’re accustomed.
Almost all of the products I help design for giant, global companies get launched in North America. Often only in the US, but if we’re lucky, Canada, too. English Canada that is—not Quebec, because that would mean adding a language. Check the availability of the next cool startup’s product that you use. Does it work outside the US? Does it even work outside your home town?
As UX professionals, we often talk publicly about our being user centric or empathetic. But, among ourselves, we also talk about how we can improve the lives of the poor, the disenfranchised, or those in distant lands just by bringing our technology to them. Read More