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Re: re-use any forms to show error messages

From: Victor Engmark
Subject: Re: re-use any forms to show error messages
Date: Fri, 11 May 2007 11:49:38 +0200

On 5/11/07, Davi Leal <address@hidden> wrote:
Victor Engmark wrote:
>    - 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?

Hmm, dunno. Companies surely don't have the same need / wish to stay anonymous, but maybe some of them want to register just to have a look at how the site works. We should try to make it as easy for them as possible. Besides, I think they will realize the obvious advantage of adding more information than just the email address if they want to be taken seriously by the applicants.

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.

I'd say it's more in their own interest. If they don't want to provide the information, we shouldn't force them. We could, however, add that as a recommendation in our FAQ / documentation.

>    - 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?

Looks fine! Perfect amount of space between the label and field.

>    - "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.

I noticed that if you fill in an invalid email address, it shows the email address in square brackets after the field when showing the error message. Why is that?

>    - 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.

The reason I didn't suggest deepening the color is that it decreases the contrast, and therefore the legibility. Also, it doesn't show up when colors are disabled. Maybe 1px wider border in almost full red would be better? E.g.,
        border: 3px inset #F30;

> 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.


Victor Engmark
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur - What is said in Latin, sounds profound
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