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Pattern Group K. Making Navigation Easy > Use Structured Fields, Examples, or E...

Use Structured Fields, Examples, or Explanatory Text to Provide Hints about the Expected Format

Minimize errors by providing fields to clarify the required format. Figure K12.2 shows two text input fields asking for a customer's phone number. The first one is error-prone. Is “555.5555” acceptable? Is “(510) 555 5555” acceptable? What about “510-555-5555”? It simply is not clear, and it is likely that whatever the person types in will be wrong. Now look at the second example. It has separate fields for the area code and the phone number, leaving no chance for error.

Figure K12.2. Here are two text input fields for a customer's phone number. The first one gives no hint as to how the visitor should format the phone number. The second one makes the required formatting clear.



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