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A colleague of mine is arguing that we should use an input mask for email fields.

Personally I don't think it is necessary. For phone numbers I can understand since a phone number can be written in different ways.

However everybody knows how to write an email address. Is it really useful to use a mask (and all the trouble it can get you with multiple devices)? Will people forget the @ if we don't provide the mask? I don't think so.

If the user enters an invalid email address we already use inline error (on blur) so what is the point. What do you guys think?

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  • Practice has shown that the combination of delimiter placeholders and input fields is quite convenient: react-flexinput-mask Nov 15, 2022 at 12:03
  • @Oleg Hmmm I doubt it. I tried your demo and erasing the email is quite cumbersome.
    – Max
    Nov 17, 2022 at 18:23

2 Answers 2

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By itself, it doesn't make sense for a new user to be shown an input mask for an email. Their email may be from any domain and extension, so an @ mask is actually a deterrent since most people expect to type it and probably will type it. So now you need to expect an @ symbol and move the cursor to the next field seamlessly.

For a returning user, it is helpful to provide autocomplete suggestions from a history of logins on the specific device/browser (which is a "complete" suggestion and not an input mask.)

Ideally, the only place for input masks for email is when you are registering a new domain-specific email (common with company/corporate email IDs), where you type in your <username>@<company name>.<tld> and everything after @ remains either constant for everyone, or is limited to a small number of domains.

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Email address is a common input field these days. We see it on login forms, register forms, ... .

I think placeholder for email address field is good and clear enough even for below average users these days!

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