Instant (real-time) validation
August 14, 2012 Leave a comment
One of the things customers love about frevvo forms is the built-in real-time validation. It’s a key usability feature.
Everyone’s filled out a form where you enter your data, click Submit, wait a while and get some errors. The errors are displayed at the top and fields in error are not highlighted. Often, some fields (e.g. passwords) get reset.
Real-time validation makes life a lot easier for the user. But, is it better to show a positive validation (e.g. a green tick) to indicate success or negative validation (e.g. a red background) when there’s a failure? We find the tick marks very distracting. On small screens, they also take up valuable screen real-estate as the image at left shows.
frevvo’s approach is to be minimize intrusions:
- Don’t bother the user unless there’s something that requires attention.
- Mark errors clearly and prominently and don’t let the visual indicator fade away and disappear.
- Provide a clear and concise error message.
- Show the error message next to the problem control.
- Provide the feedback in real-time and not after submitting.
- Don’t reset passwords or make the user enter data again.
It’s hard enough to get users to complete forms; why annoy them even more? Try it. You’ll find that users make fewer errors, complete forms faster, successfully submit them more often and are generally more satisfied.