User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm developing a website that displays information about European festivals, including their addresss. Given that different countries use different address formats, I'm wondering what is the best "one size fits all" form that I can use to capture the address data. Obviously I could use something like:

Address Line 1 _____________
Address Line 2 _____________
Address Line 3 _____________
Address Line 4 _____________

Country* <choose from drop down list>

(Fields marked with * are mandatory)

The above is not very satisfactory as it allows the user to enter the address in an almost completely unstructured way. More specifically, it will make it difficult for me to extract the town/city and post code (if applicable), which I will need to do.

I want to make the form as structured as possible, while still accommodating all possible European address formats (within reason). The best I've come up with so far is:

Address Line 1 _____________
Town/City*     _____________
Address Line 3 _____________

Post Code      _____________
Country* <choose from drop down list>

This will force the user to enter the nearest town/city and country, which should allow me to plot the location on a map. I think the concept of town/city is pretty much universal, and if the country uses post codes, I can capture that information too.

However, it seems like this problem must have been considered at least a million times before. Are there any "best practices" that I should be following?

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

There is an extensive article related to this topic by LukeW.

share|improve this answer
+1, but would be useful to summarise key points from the linked material in your answer, so it's within stack. – Kris C May 7 '12 at 22:01

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.