We're on a project where the concept of a 'soft' error for a web form came up. It's an interesting idea, but I can't actually think of an example of it being used in the past, so perhaps it's not a good idea.
To give an example is validating an email address. For a number of reasons, it's not a good idea to force heavy email validation in the form itself.
In addition, a person can enter a valid email address, but misspell it, so we can never truly validate that the email a person types into a field matches their actual email. But, it would be nice to catch malformed addresses.
The thought would be to do something akin to this:
Email: [ ]
And then the 'soft error' messaging that could happen in-line:
Email: [ my name @google. com ] (!) We noticed this may not be a valid email. Please double check just to make sure. Note that email addresses typically don't have spaces.
I like this idea of this. Has anyone see an implementation like this?
My main concern with it is that it still feels like an error, and that usually means I can't submit the form until I 'fix' it. Perhaps that pattern is just so ingrained into us that a soft error message just would never work as it would always be seen as a blocker, rather than just a suggestion.