To be honest, I find input masks annoying. Different masks on different sites sometimes work differently, such that their behavior unpredictable and it actually makes me take more time to type out information because I have to be careful that it doesn't mess it up.
For example, some of them automatically go to the next tab index for you, while some don't (and don't get me started on trying to delete/replace characters). Some of them prevent you from continuing until you've entered correct information, while some don't. I would much rather type in the '/', '-' '(', or whatever else character because that way I know exactly what I'm going to type and what the field requires, so I can do it as quick as I would normally type. I would also much rather have a small error box pop up next to the field in question if the format is off, telling me the format it should be in.
- Why are input masks seemingly the required norm? Is there a standard/study of users that this is based on that shows it truly makes it easier for the user?
- Also, a worry: might not using input masks alienate less tech-savvy users, since there is no "template" provided? Or, will input masks actually confuse them even more, causing unexpected (and sudden) behavior?