Posts Tagged ‘form handler’
Anyone using a standard text field for dates should upgrade to the new date type.
Fields with the date type show as a text box, with a datepicker poping up when the field is selected. A datepicker allows users to input dates in an intuitive and interactive way, therefore reducing the risk of errors.
Another reason for using a datepicker is to alleviate the date format problem. Because of date formatting differences, 12/07/2008 means December 7th in the U.S., but July 12th in Europe. Although we initially thought of adopting the ISO/W3C date format “yyyy-mm-dd”, we eventually preferred the U.S. format “mm/dd/yyyy”. That is, until we release an internationalized version of FormSmarts.
Because users don’t interact directly with the text field (unless they want to), but rather with the datepicker, they don’t have to be aware of date formatting issues.
To avoid any misunderstandings, dates are displayed as Sunday July 20, 2008.
Any questions or comments? Leave a reply. We are in particular interested in feedback from non U.S. users.
We’re going to add over the week-end two new input field types: country, and date. You should upgrade any web forms currently using a standard text field for country or date to the new types.
When to Use the Country Type
Choose the country type whenever you want to show on a form a dropdown list with the 280 odd ISO country names.
Visitor Country Selected by Default
A country list field is typically used to ask the visitor about his/her country of residence. You’ve certainly already experienced the frustration of having to search for your country in a long list each time you fill out a form. At FormSmarts, we want to save time to everyone, so the visitor’s country is automatically selected by default.
That way, users only have to change the selection if the question asks them about a country different from their country of residence. For example, “Where did you travel last time you went abroad?”
Reducing the time needed to fill a form helps reduce form abandonment.
Any questions or comments? Leave a reply.
P.S. We’ll present the date type in another post.
Many form processors let visitors submit a form in only one step: users fill in the form, and are done after pressing the submit button. With FormSmarts, there is an extra confirmation step, during which users are invited to review and confirm the information submitted. There are two strong reasons why we added the confirmation step.
The first reason is quality. FormSmarts is typically used for transaction where the information submitted is important. Important because the information collected is intended to be read by humans, rather than machines. Important because this information is often intended to be acted upon.
By allowing users to review and modify their submission, we increase the accuracy of the information you get in the end.
Form users understand that, and it increases their confidence that you value the information they are sending you. Most of times, confirmation will only add a few seconds to the whole transaction.
The second reason is security and usability. Many form submissions are automated, or even manual spamming attempts, known as form spam or comment spam.
When a user presses the submit button, a lot more happens on the server than you may suspect. If we spot a likely spamming attempt, we’ll ask the user to complete one or more tests (e.g. CAPTCHA test) on the confirmation page. But in the same time, the bulk of users will never be asked to waste time on a CAPTCHA test.
Based on years of experience, we have no evidence of users thinking they are done after the first step and not completing the form submission.