As a part of a form I got one field where users input an id. This id maps to a name. I want to show this name in the form since spotting a typo in a id sequence of numbers is harder than recognising a name.(In the case both Id and name are similar I guess I'm out of luck)

Doing it the other way around is not an option since names are not unique. In the context of use, ids are widely used already. So the user are accustomed to entering ids and not names most of the time.

Where I get into trouble is how do I show this mapping so it's understandable? I tried to put a label after the input field but then to me it's mostly looked like a label for a missing input field. At the moment it looks something like this:


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Where the name goes in to the disabled field once an ID has been entered. However I'm not to entirely satisfied. What better ways are there of solving this?

1 Answer 1


One way you can simplify this process is to think of it as a process.

  1. Enter user's id
  2. Input data for form for selected user


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Using an autocomplete here will be helpful for people to enter IDs and correlate them to the user name quickly. Separating the step of entering IDs first will ensure that the form will have a correct ID input.

Alternatively if you allow the autocomplete to do a lookup on name or ID it could be an added benefit.


download bmml source

  • It's a very good suggestion, and I might run with it. The only problem though is that the userID field is quite set in stone so I can't make to much changes to it. It's been the same for years in other parts of the application where the name can be show in other ways. So a autocomplete might be confusing since it's not expected behaviour of the User Id field.
    – Alvin
    Apr 18, 2012 at 8:55
  • Maybe you could do a look up of using the person's name or ID and have more info in the autocomplete area so that choosing someone is done easily
    – lifeofmle
    Apr 19, 2012 at 15:20
  • Chrome does this sort of mapped autocomplete very well.
    – Ben Brocka
    Apr 19, 2012 at 16:12
  • All good answers, to the problem.
    – Alvin
    Apr 30, 2012 at 6:40

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