Placeholder texta hint towards the desired answer that sits within a field, may appear an attractive and helpful addition to a form. However it should be used with caution; more often than not it hinders user experience and significantly affects the overall usability of a form.
Using placeholder text can have benefits for specific applications; here we explore 4 factors you should be aware of before implementing the technique. At that moment, you are asking the user to engage their memory whilst also performing the input task. However when asking a user to create a password that must include one uppercase, one lowercase, one number, one symbol and one star sign, this can cause confusion.
Another consideration is the tab key. Increasingly popular as a quicker method of navigating through forms, it means users have even less time to absorb your disappearing hint. So lets just leave the hint displaying when they activate the field, right? By leaving the placeholder in the field as editable text, you are forcing the user to delete it, creating an unnecessary burden and increasing interaction cost. Not to mention how much of a pain moving the cursor can be on mobile.
This method also increases the risk of forced errors. If a user does not delete the full placeholder before inputting their data, they are likely to give incorrect information through no fault of their own.
Unless very specific, this may not get picked up by error validation and could prove costly. In worst cases, they could be completely overlooked, or mistaken for a field already filled in.
Users nowadays spend more time multitasking when filling out forms, they are likely to leave the tab or screen altogether before returning for completion. For starters not all screen readers will recognise placeholder text, this means it wont be read aloud, causing blind and visually impaired users to miss the hint altogether. The low contrast between this and the background makes its difficult for users with visual impairment to read the text.
Explore using floating labels, placeholder text can adapt its position once a user has activated the field. However browser compatibility issues may restrict this. For best results, avoid using it. Create clear hints that sit outside empty form fields and in unison with the labels.
Allow the user to travel swiftly through the form, reducing the amount of forced errors and aiding towards completion.Date picker is an input field that allows you to select dates through textual input or interaction with a calendar overlay. Every time we fill out the date of birth, make an online appointment to doctor or book a vacation, we interact with date pickers. Well-designed date pickers streamline date selection — users select a date in a few clicks or taps.Contextual Input Fields in Forms - Axure RP: Noob to Master Ep8
But how to design a date picker that has good usability? In this article, I want to focus on two important elements of date picker — numerical input field and calendar overlay. Because in some implementations the placeholder disappears once the input is activated, some users will forget the expected format — o ut of sight, out of mind.
When you hide the separator, some users will try to add it manually. As the user starts typing, the transition between day, month and year should happen automatically, without any effort from the user side. All the user should do is to keep typing on the numerical keyboard. The answer to this question in the context of your form and the information you know about your users. Avoid setting random values.
Setting random values for the user will force users to change the values to the ones they are actually looking for. It will introduce extra work and increase the interaction cost. For example, if the date is likely to be quite far in the past or the future for example, date of birtha regular numerical input is a good solution. This is critical for service-ordering forms. This is particularly helpful for cases when users want to explore available options.
Again, it depends on the nature of your form. Displaying an actual day of the week is important for booking appointment forms. But it can be irrelevant for forms that ask for personal details such as date of birth. There is no universal answer to this question. But one thing for sure, we need to design a seamless user journey. If the auto-triggering calendar helps users save time, we should do it.
Originally published at uxpro. Sign in. UX Planet. Date Picker Design Best Practices. Nick Babich Follow. UX Planet Follow. UX Planet is a one-stop resource for everything related to user experience.
See responses 4. More From Medium.It is tempting to provide text help for complex forms, or omit input labels to improve aesthetics. However, employing placeholder text to do so causes many usability issues. This article illustrates common bad practices, and proposes alternatives. In an attempt to shorten the length of a form or reduce visual noise, designers use placeholder text as an input label.
This practice places burden on short-term memory. The entry must be deleted to expose the label again. It is better to include an input label directly above the input field. The blank input field acts as an affordance to enter data. Users look to the unfilled boxes to determine what they need to act on. Providing an example of the needed input helps a user understand the request.
However, incorporating the example as placeholder text causes issues including: disappearance on focus, confusion regarding what has been entered, and reduction of the input acting as an affordance.
As an alternative, example text can be placed below the input field. Placeholder text is often employed to provide more information on what is needed to complete a field.
This practice is bad for the same reasons stated earlier, and even more dubious because of the amount of text used. Misguided designers and developers often make the mistake of using a placeholder to communicate lengthy messages. There are many good alternatives to this erroneous practice like the 3 illustrated above. It is tempting to use placeholder text for secondary labels like shown above. However, the usability of the form will increase if a regular input label is used instead.
But if you must…. Users fill in the blanks. A blank input is an affordance to enter text.
Placeholder text can diminish the actionable element of an input. This is especially true when placeholders are high in color value because users can mistake it for a prior entry. Placeholder text also causes issues if the color value is too low because the placeholder may not be clearly visible on certain screens, leading users to squint. In general, forms are usually more usable when placeholder text is omitted. Sign in.
Alternatives to Placeholder Text. Improve form usability by addressing the perils of placeholders. Andrew Coyle Follow. Placeholder as a label. Placeholder as an example. Placeholder as help text. Placeholder as secondary label s. But if you must… Appropriate placeholder use: Placeholders should be of a lighter value than input text.
Placeholders should be visible on all screens. Placeholders should not disappear when a user clicks into the input.For any app or web application, nothing will ever happen without some initial and ongoing input from the user.
It is, therefore, critical that product designers, developer and product managers understand the best ways to allow them to do so. Keep in mind that these are general guideline and there are exceptions to every rule.
A text field is a basic text control that enables the user to type a small amount of text. Even typing a question into Google is considered filling out a form which has only one text field.
The users wants to know what kind of data to enter in an input field and clear label text is one of the primary ways to tell them that. Of course there are situation when users can rely on icon in order to figure out the meaning of the field e. Clear labels makes users feel more confident that they are understanding things in the right way, and taking the right actions.
Labels are not help texts. You should use succinct, short and descriptive labels a word or two so users can quickly scan it. If extra information, clarification or context is required use help text to do this rather than long rambling labels. If input fields are sized according to their expected input they are both easier to read and to interpret for users. Your field should be big enough so that most possible field values are visible.
Data comes in many formats. Of course, you should always try to design input fields in a way that they be compatible with how users enter information. You can solve this problem by showing instructions, examples or hints to help users figure out what format they should use for this field. A problem with the format of a telephone number can be solved in the following ways:. As a rule of thumb, do not exceed words of explanation.
Users appreciate apps that provide an appropriate keyboard for text entry. In example below you can see that the user is required to tap the number key in the keyboard to enable number entry when text keyboard was provided for the field that require numeric entry.
You should never use all capsor else the labels would be difficult to read and much harder to quickly scan, as there are no differences in character height any more. Your fonts have to be big enough to be legible. A safe bet is to use 16 pixels for body copy.Small design changes can prevent big user errors.
By Angie Li. Formatting a date-entry field may seem like a minor detail; however, even small interactions can draw a process to a standstill if implemented improperly. Poorly designed date input leads to distressed or annoyed users — risking the abandonment of the form altogether.
Even worse, if the user specifies the wrong date, the entire transaction could be a disaster -- think, for example, how you'd feel if you showed up at the theater excited for a new show, only to discover that you bought tickets for a different day. Considerations for users on mobile devices and for global audiences must be taken into account to improve this small, but fundamental input.
This article discusses common input patterns, error handling, and international input for date fields. Calendar pickers are control elements that display a full calendar month at one time. They typically show the days of the week across the top and match the metaphor of desk or wall calendars.
Calendar pickers should be used for events close to the present time — within less than a year. However, they can be frustrating for users who choose dates far in advance because they require too much navigation to get to the desired input; for these users, it would be faster to simply type the year.
Designing Perfect Text Field: Clarity, Accessibility and User Effort
Calendar pickers are especially useful for selecting a date range. In those situations, they often display two months side by side. In general, we don't recommend this method when there are more than 10 dates available however, as it can become tedious for people to scan and scroll through the list of dates.
Whatever format users chose for entering the date dashes, spaces, slashes, dots between the month, day, and year componentstheir input should be recognized. Moreover, leftmost zeros should not affect the date. Date-entry fields are culture dependent, and can cause major problems for those users who are accustomed to a different format. Follow these rules of thumb when designing date input for a global audience:.
Some frameworks, such as Bootstrap, provide calendar pickers to support unambiguous date selection. Date-input patterns are not created equal. Implement design patterns that are appropriate for your context. When designing date-entry fields support text input and consider whether or not you have an international audience. Avoid designs that are ambiguous because they can cause people to become frustrated and annoyed with your site.
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The HTML5 date input field actually does not support the attribute for placeholder. It will always be ignored by the browser, at least as per the current spec. As noted here. The only thing that need js is to setAttribute of the value, if using React, it works out of the box. I've not tested it for fields that can't take placeholders but you shouldn't need to change anything in the code at all.
Using a jQuery sure you can achieve this with Vanilla. This make sure the date format still the same. Learn more. How do I simulate placeholder functionality on input date field? Ask Question. Asked 6 years, 8 months ago. Active 5 months ago. Viewed k times.
It's impossible to use placeholder on date fields but I really need it. I want two date inputs with texts "From" and "To" on each one as placeholders. Shkarik Shkarik 1 1 gold badge 8 8 silver badges 15 15 bronze badges. Set ad efault value that disappears onfocus and reappears onblur? When you simulate placeholder behavior in incompatible browsers, be mindful of how that will affect your validation.
Active Oldest Votes. Kyle Trauberman Roman Roman Works only on iOS and Chrome on Android. Add margin-right: 0. You can also change the first line to: content: attr placeholder ':';to add a colon between the placeholder and input.
You would only have to add! Abdo-Host Abdo-Host 1, 18 18 silver badges 22 22 bronze badges. It works, but you need to double-click the field to see the calendar. This is a hack of genius! You can use CSS's before pseudo.
Placeholders in Form Fields Are Harmful
Roko C. Buljan k 29 29 gold badges silver badges bronze badges.It also poses additional burdens for users with visual and cognitive impairments. By Katie Sherwin. In-context descriptions or hints can help clarify what goes inside each form field, and therefore improve completion and conversion rates. There are many ways to provide hints. A common implementation is by inserting instructions within form fields.
Unfortunately, user testing continually shows that placeholders in form fields often hurt usability more than help it. Labels tell users what information belongs in a given form field and are usually positioned outside the form field.
Placeholder text, located inside a form field, is an additional hint, description, or example of the information required for a particular field. These hints typically disappear when the user types in the field. Some forms replace field labels with in-field placeholder text to reduce clutter on the page, or to shorten the length of the form. While this approach is based on good intentions, our research shows that it has many negative consequences.
If the user forgets the hint, which people often do while filling out long forms, he has to delete what he wrote and, in some cases, click away from the field to reveal the placeholder text again. In an ideal world, users would be entirely focused when filling out a form. But in reality, users multitask. They have different tabs openor they might be pulled away by an email or phone call. For complex tasks, they might have to stop and go retrieve a document or order number.
From our research on mobile usabilitywe know that mobile users are also frequently distracted and interrupted while using their devices. On simple, frequently used forms with one or two fields, such as a search box or login form, the strain on memory is less of an issue than with complex or rarely used forms.
That is because with simple, familiar forms, users can guess what they are supposed to enter. Although, on even a simple login form without labels, users may not remember if they have the option to type Username or Email or just Username. The lack of labels makes it impossible for customers to glance through the form and make sure that their responses are correct. Similarly, browsers that autocomplete form fields may fill in information incorrectly.
Alternatives to Placeholder Text
If there are no labels, or if special instructions are no longer visible, customers must reveal the placeholder text by deleting the text in each field one by one in order verify that it matches the description. If the form has been filled out, but there are no labels or instructions visible outside the form fields, then users have to go back to each field to reveal the description in order to fix the error.
At the minimum, users will spend more time locating a non-empty field — a nuisance. At the worst, they will overlook the field completely—a potential business-killing disaster. When there is already text in the field, people are less likely to realize that they can type there. Some users assume the placeholder text is a default value and skip the field completely.
Sometimes placeholders do not disappear when users move their input focus into the field. If the placeholder remains in the field as editable textusers are forced to manually select and delete it. This creates an unnecessary burden on users and increases the interaction cost of filling in the form. Sometimes the placeholder dims when the cursor is placed in a text field. Unfortunately, this interaction pattern is rare and users are not familiar with it: some still think they have to delete the text manually.
It often takes a few failed attempts and lots of clicking to realize that they can start typing over the dimmed text.