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Thread: Re: e-mail addresses and proper form


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From: Terence de Giere
Date: Tue, Sep 16 2003 7:36PM
Subject: Re: e-mail addresses and proper form
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Concerning a two part input for an email address:
A simple usability test might help solve this. You might need about
twelve subjects. Make a simple page with a single text entry field and a
submit button and what ever labels or instructions you have for the
email address input and ask users to fill it out and submit. It doesn't
have to be a working form. For the other half, use a two text field
input the same way. You could also have the users do each test, but
having done one before the other might contaminate the results. These
could be normal users. If there is a big difference, assistive
technology users will surely have similar or worse problems with it.

One potential problem for non visual users is tabbing through a form
skips intermediate content between the controls with some technology.
With a two part input, you may need very clearly written instructions to
get the users to have a chance to get it right. Any structure that is
different from what the user conventionally expects is a source of
potential error or frustration. "Type the first half of your last name
in the first box, and then in the next box, the last half of your last
name." (And there are required labels on the two fields also). What do I
do if my last name has an odd number of letters?

Terence de Giere

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