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I am laying out a form on a website with the typical name & address fields. While I've done this a number of times, I have began to try and trim fields from my forms that will be on smaller devices as advocated by Luke Wroblewski (pdf link) and many others.

One field I'm considering changing is the Company field.

Current Field Order

  1. Name
  2. Company (optional)
  3. Address 1
  4. Address 2 (optional, no label)
  5. City
  6. State
  7. Zip

With Name already being combined and Address 2 being available for any "Care Of" addressing, I'm considering going a step further and making field one "Name or Company"?

Does anyone have any insight (good or bad) in combining such?

  • Why were both of those pieces of information being collected? How were they being used? Surely business needs will dictate whether or not you still need to collect them separately, before considering the user experience benefits of combining them. – Matt Obee Dec 6 '12 at 20:01
  • A lot of the business data has people having company name in the "name" field (with no person's name provided or as a c/o in those instances) and the question has been raised if there's a "better way" of designing the form during a responsive redesign. – JamesEggers Dec 6 '12 at 20:05
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They should be two separate fields.

If they are stored as one, you will never know which is which if you ever need the information again. Additionally, most people will have to think about how to enter that which will take longer. This is something you definately don't want because the expected value of a field should be obvious for the user at all times.

Do I put "John Shell" or "John - Shell" or "John, Shell"? Then what does it come addressed to me as? If a company gets post addressed to any of these it will be unclear who I should give it to.

  • So you think labels such as "Name or Company" wouldn't be clear enough? Also do you think adding placeholder/helper text on address 2 for "apt, ste, c/o" also assist or just add to the confusion? – JamesEggers Dec 6 '12 at 20:03
  • If your goal is that post gets to the destination, then you just need name. I can easily write "John Beckett c/o Bob Smith" if I need a c/o field, so still just name is fine. – JohnGB Dec 6 '12 at 21:02

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