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RE: Labelling form elements for date


From: Mary Utt
Date: Jun 26, 2002 5:36AM

> Actually, in situations like dates, times, and phone numbers, I usually
> for a single text box. Users with disabilities seem to do better with
> approach than using multiple fields. The error rates seem less and the
> completion time seems faster.

This is very interesting: my observations (not to be confused with a study)
of non-disabled users is that text fields for dates and times are confusing,
even when examples are included in the page text and even when the system
allows various common input formats.

> Here is a question. Would people find any value in a usability study that
> looked at different form controls in certain contexts to compare error
> and speed of entry? Are there other kinds of usability/accessibility
> that would be helpful to those of us interested in accessible design
> principles?

Absolutely. These questions keep popping up: dates, times, phone numbers,
and probably a few other things are very common in forms for both web sites
and web apps. It would be grand (for developers and users) to have
grounded in real usage information. For example, in this case, it would be
especially interesting to know if, for dates, text fields are more usable
disabled users and select boxes are more usable for non-disabled users.

Mary Utt
SiteScape, Inc.
Maynard, MA USA

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