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83

Interestingly the w3 Spec for placeholder allows for either behavior: User agents should present this hint to the user, after having stripped line breaks from it, when the element's value is the empty string and/or the control is not focused (e.g. by displaying it inside a blank unfocused control and hiding it otherwise). But, functionally speaking, ...


50

Emails were never intended as a form of chat type messaging. Remember that they are electronic versions of mail, so trying to modify them to be something they weren't designed for is a mistake. As to the reasons why we write the subject line first: The subject line is part of the header of an email (see the original RFC822 and the newer RFC5322), and ...


43

I would side with having the placeholder text show as long as possible without getting in the way. The way it is done in Chrome is better, in my opinion. I've found ways to get around this on all browsers, however. What I've done in the past is remove the placeholder text on focus, but also re-displayed that text by making the label--which is almost ...


35

Do not update what users enter when they're still typing. It fuddles up their ability to edit as they type, and it makes the field a moving target. If you were to type 25000 straight, no typo's, no backspacing, it might make sense to format it right when you're done. However, what happens when you enter a 0 between the 2 and the 5? Or when you hit backspace? ...


31

As a Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange employee, my guess is that this was a Google Forms doc put together for the specific purpose of gathering addresses this one time. We do this internally a lot to gather information. Using a product like Google Forms allows anyone to get something done without having to involve developers or designers. I imagine the ...


30

Because this behavior is rare and therefore unexpected, it will surprise most novice users, which can cause them to misunderstand how to use the interface, and interfere with usability. (An example of this interference might be if the user fills out the field and presses tab, while you have auto-advanced, and while they think they are typing in the next ...


25

The standard is that the light source is at the top of an item, as this is where light sources are usually located in real life (the Sun, ceiling lighting). Items lit from below or on top appear unnatural. Lighting and shadows help controls like buttons look like buttons, and that's what they should do. Whether the light comes from top or a little to the ...


24

In theory the correct answer is no upper limit for name lengths. Allow the user to enter whatever their name is using whatever characters are available to them so that you will never run into a circumstance where someone is prevented from entering their valid real name. In practice that is not possible to implement. There have to be limitations. These ...


23

Having a blank field that means that all Organizations/Locations can access the item is really confusing. There should be a default that says "All Organizations" and "All Locations". It can be shown if the value is Null, if that is appropriate for the underlying code, but it needs to show the user what is going on. Changing the code to not confuse the ...


21

There is some interesting pedantic information on the weirdness of midnight: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midnight Specifically, technically, at midnight, it's neither am nor pm. But merely the instant of transition between the two. Some ideas: Use a 24 hour clock. Perhaps with 12 hour correlations in parenthesis: ... 10 11 12 13 (1pm) 14 (2pm) etc ...


20

The general practice of lighting from some modest angle left of completely overhead is old and practical. Renaissance painters for instance, as they became more scientific about depth perception, often chose this lighting technique. There are a few reasons for the effectiveness of the "just-left-of-noon" light source, I think: As others stated, and ...


20

You'll often find that users will just fill in all fields on a form regardless of whether they're required or not. People don't really read instructions and don't want to risk encountering an issue if they haven't filled in any fields, so they'll often just fill in them all regardless. (This has been somewhat supported by testing by the Baymard Institute - ...


18

Date pickers are helpful when your concerned dates fall within the context of a month or so but not several years apart as jumping between years would require laboriously many clicks. Date selectors are not just helpful in reducing the typing errors but they also standardize the formats when several correct variations are possible. For Americans, the ...


18

Though I don't have an answer behind why all the fields were named the same, I think the idea was to ensure that all potential international addresses could fit into the form design without designing custom forms for every international address. Here are some examples of international addresses Amazon also a generic international format as mentioned in ...


16

It's hard to answer the question without seeing more of the design scheme, but I'll give you the guideline anyway. Your question is about a problem of affordance. Affordance is a visual cue that implies action. For example: a thin slot in a soda machine indicates the place in which the user should insert their coin, and the pull lever in a car's door ...


14

When no text, make the message simply inicate the max number of characters (no mention of the number remaining. As you type, the number of remaining characters fades from grey to black (very subtle indication) When you reach the limit, change the border to red; make any excess text a different colour; show a small error icon below and indicate number of ...


14

What is the context of your application? Context really matters for dates. Consider the two following situations. A budgeting application where users plan spending for future years A college reunion signup where users enter their graduation date Clearly if people are planning, they would be annoyed to get a date in the past and if people are entering ...


14

Firstly, the thousands separator is not common among all regions of the world. When in doubt the recommended solution (SI/ISO 31-0 standard) is to use a non-breakable thin space as a separator. You also have to take into account that not all countries group by thousands. From Wikipedia: In China, comma and space are used to mark digit groups ...


14

6-line addresses (or rather 7-line, including the name of the addressee) do occur. Consider for example a typical UK residential address: Miss S Pollard name 1 Chapel Hill building number and street name Heswall locality BOURNEMOUTH town with a post office BH1 1AA postcode UNITED KINGDOM ...


13

Removing it when you start typing is better Depending on how the focus was moved to the input field, the user may not necessarily see the placeholder text before it quickly disappears. Yes you might read it before you manually click in the field but perhaps not if you happened to tab into the field from the previous input. There's also the possibility ...


12

With one of my previous assignments, this issue came up with our users. It turned out frustrating for both beginner and advanced users. Here are some major issues with auto-advancing: Not everyone looks at the screen while typing. They may not realize that they are in a new field and will type erroneous values. This happens even to people who are aware ...


12

It is generally accepted (and well proven) that shorter forms are completed more often than longer forms (with all else benig equal of course). However there are exceptions where some information is expected by customers, and leaving it out leads them to question the validity of the form. 'Shorter = better' is a good starting hypothesis, but one that you ...


12

Regardless of the solution criteria, why not populating the field with a default value in grey? Telling your users what the field actually does without their input. If they're happy with it they'll move on, otherwise they'll replace it. As per the default criteria, I would choose the less painful i.e. "As a user the less input I have to provide the better I ...


12

It does need a label, not just visually for people viewing the site but for people using assistive technologies (screenreaders etc). If there is no label then people visiting do not know what the field is for, or what goes it it. From W3C Guideline 3.3 Input Assistance: Help users avoid and correct mistakes. 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions: Labels or ...


11

Fields should generally be an appropriate size for their expected input, which may well mean that one field in a form has a different width to another field. The size of a field provides a useful clue about the information that should be entered into it. For example, if you're asking a user to input a postcode/zip, a field that is 20 characters long would be ...


11

We had the same question and after a lot of heated discussion we decided to not format while the user was editing. While the user type he can add grouping or decimal separators if he would like and as soon as he blurs we add them if the user didn't. so the user can type 100000 100,000 100,000.00 100000.00 but as soon as he blurs we format it as ...


10

Something I have seen code syntax highlighters do is to indicate long lines of code by changing the color of text that exceeds the limit, something like the below: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups The advantage of this method is that it takes up no additional space. However, it doesn't give any indication of how ...


9

I'd like to approach this question from a bit of a different perspective than that of other answers. What's In An Order The essential question posed is questioning the philosophy and methodology of ordering form fields. On the one hand, one might wish to order them in the order that the author would be expected to write them. This is a perfectly sensible ...


9

This may be similar to the question Why don't ATMs give you cash before your card?: Users follow the tasks in sequence, but regard the task as completed once they have achieved their goal. Subsidiary steps are easy to abandon at this point. The goal of writing an email is conveying information. Once the message body is complete that goal is supposedly ...


8

This is very dangerous ground. The radio buttons not only make the input easier, they also serve as a sanity check for the user who gets a visual confirmation of the sum he typed in. I would bring them back. The new functionality you developed is excellent and it should stay. Of course, it should interact with the radio buttons, and once the user had typed ...



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