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We are building an application which requires a user to make an online payment for (possibly) his/her account. We'd like to keep track of the payer's name.

We note that the payer may differ from the owner of the account, but lets assume there's a 50% chance the payer is the account owner.

Should we:

A) Fill the account owner's name to the billing info field and provide a button to undo the autofill?

OR

B) Only provide the button to fill and have the user invoke it?

  • Sounds like the stage in an Amazon purchase where it allows you to fill in your shipping address and offers the check box saying "Same as billing address". I would leave it to the user as a convenient feature rather than something that you just assume is helpful. – maxathousand May 6 '16 at 18:40
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Option B Empowers the User, Option A makes work for them

Summing up the positives and negatives:

Option A offers either the positive experience of seeing a correctly auto-filled form, or the negative experience of seeing something that is incorrect and having to undo it to redo it correctly.

Option B offers either the neutral experience of simply filling out the form, or the positive experience of choosing to click to correctly auto-fill.

Overall, B is a more positive and empowering option.

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  • Thanks! This is exactly the explanation I was looking for. On a further note, I've seen social medias use Option A more and more frequently. When is is better to use A)? – Benjamin Zhao May 6 '16 at 20:51
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I'd like to provide an option C: have things pre-populated / autofilled, with no additional button, and when users want to edit / correct the autofilled content, they simply click into the text field to update it.

No having the additional button simplifies your UI, and users still can get the convenience of not typing again if it's already correct, or having the option to correct it otherwise.

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