I am looking at the design of credit card entry forms. I have the option of validating the card number to determine the additional information fields on the form like start date and issue number.

Option 1 is to design the form to build as the user enters data ( not keen to do this)

Option 2 is to reduce the number of fields required dependent on the card number entered

Option 3 leave as is and get the customer to select their card type first.

Any thoughts, would this be disconcerting?

Is it a case that although we could do this we shouldn't?


  • 1
    This isn't what you're asking, but is related. When I must enter my credit card as one long string of numbers, it's more difficult. I prefer when the numbers I enter are automatically grouped as I type.
    – JeromeR
    Commented Mar 3, 2010 at 15:50

2 Answers 2


John. I've seen here http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?968 an example of a credit card entry form in which the user typed in the card number, and by the number the application would automatically select the card type, so the user wouldn't have to do it.


For me the problem with dynamics is how the user is notified, an accessibility/experience issue.

If you're building a form on the fly, is it asynchronous, and if so how do you announce to a screen reader that there is now more available on the page.

If you do the determination by the credit card number pattern, you still need to show the user what type of card it is, unless you do tests that show your users don't need that type of "reassurance" or standard pattern. If you do show them, how are multiple auto selections shown, and we're back to how you then present/announce to screen readers.

If you let them select it, all users can access, you have common usage/practice/default standard on your side. Yet doing so is an extra selection and it's not moving forward in defining a better experience.

In the end, I think I'd tackle showing the credit card type and any other information based on an expression and be sure to implement a solution that all users can be shown/notified "auto selections".

  • Hi, Susan. About users having to be notified about the card type, would that information really make a difference to them? Or is it only relevant to the application?
    – Renata Neira
    Commented Mar 3, 2010 at 12:27
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    Many years ago we did some testing that showed users were uncomfortable if they weren't shown the credit card type. It was something they expected to and thought something was wrong if they didn't. But that was 7 years ago... I haven't seen any recent results, so don't know if it's still a valid concern.
    – Susan R
    Commented Mar 3, 2010 at 14:40

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