Friday, May 16, 2014


I'm a web site.  I would like your phone number.  Please type it in.  No, not your real phone number.  Let's say it's +1 800 555 1212, or as we used to stay in the States, 1-800-555-1212, or even (800) 555-1212.  But not KLondike5-1212.  No one says that anymore.

Right.  Let's go ahead:


Whoa, wait a minute.  What's this 'plus sign' thing?  I am a simple American web site.  Your "country codes" frighten and confuse me.  Just give me the area code, prefix and number.  Go ahead, please.


What?  A parenthesis?  Dude.  It's a phone number.  What's with all the special characters?  Try again.


Cool. Now we're getting somewhere.


Stop right there!  Anyone can see there are spaces between the parts of a phone number.  Why didn't you type a space?


See?  That wasn't so hard, was it?  Notice how I split the number up into little boxes, and jumped from box to box when you hit space?  Wasn't that just slick?  This is what you can do with modern technology.

Phone number widgets, I think, are the web site UX equivalent of silly password "strengthening" rules.  No two are alike, and almost all of them get in the way for no good reason.  Social Security number widgets are pretty dicey, too, but you don't run into those so much (even in the States).

Credit card numbers, on the other hand, those are generally pretty easy to put in.  I can't imagine why.

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