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Re: re-use any forms to show error messages

From: Davi Leal
Subject: Re: re-use any forms to show error messages
Date: Fri, 11 May 2007 11:30:52 +0200 (CEST)

Victor Engmark wrote:
>    - "email" should be changed to "Email", like the other fields.

>    - "Middle name" should be between "First name" and "Last name".

>    - What is the rationale for requiring only the first name? Those who
>    don't have a unique first name will have to fill in at least the last name
>    to be identifiable, and those who have a unique first name will have to lie
>    if they want to be anonymous. I vote for making the field optional. If that
>    can't / won't be done, I vote for making the last name mandatory (even
>    though some people will surely use false identities in that case). The only
>    thing we can be sure of is that the email is valid, since it has to be
>    validated.

The rationale was require the less information possible. For example persons
who will join the Association but are not interested in filling her
Qualifications, etc.

Now, I agree with you!, I vote too for making the "First name" field
optional too.  However I think we should keep mandatory the Company
and non-profit "Name" fields.  What do you think?

Note: About entities who subscribe to offers, or even post offers her
      selves, I personally think it is her responsability fill in
      rightly this identification information, even State / Province.

>    - The " :" part of the label is unnecessary.

I have removed the " :" only at the Company registration form. I will
check how it looks at several browsers before removing it at others forms.

How it looks at you PC?

>    - "Field cannot be left blank" sounds a bit technical. How about
>    something like "Please [fill in a value / select a value] here"?

I have replaced the message by:  "Please fill in here"

The best you can do is try it.
As usual, let me know anything.

>    - Mandatory fields should be more thoroughly pronounced. I suggest
>    bolder borders and / or a bigger asterisk. The difference in background
>    color is hardly visible when viewing the page on my laptop, and the 
> asterisk
>    is tiny. Bold / italic text could be used for the labels, but the former is
>    not recommended after a usability study (see below), and italic text is
>    really hard to read if the text is small (antialiasing in *nix is also 
> bad).

I have pronounced even more the red-required background.
Warning: I have not been able to check it with a browser yet.

        background-color: #ffa593;


You could try several colors at you development environment. We can follow
testing and improving it.

> On a more scientific note, an eyetracking study has some interesting
> conclusions:

>    - "Placing a label above an input field works better in most cases,
>    because users aren't forced to look separately at the label *and* the
>    input field."

We could add a very low priority task to try and analyze this option with
our forms.  It is more important remove the JavaScript requirement, etc.

>    - "Placing labels above input fields is preferable, but if you choose
>    to place them to the left of input fields, at least make them right
>    aligned."

Yep. I think we are in this case.

>    - "Reading bold labels is a little bit more difficult for users, so
>    it's preferable to use plain text labels."

Yep. I think we are in this case.

>    - "Drop-down list boxes. Use them with care, because they're so
>    eye-catching. Either use them for important data or, when using them for
>    less important data, place them well below more important input fields."

I will add a very low priority and postponed task to try and analyze this

>    - "Label placement for drop-down list boxes. To ensure users are
>    immediately aware of what you're asking for, instead of using a separate
>    label, make the default value for a drop-down list box the label. This will
>    work for very long lists of items, because a user already has the purpose 
> of
>    the input field in mind before the default value disappears."

I will add a task to try and analyze this subject.


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