Tuesday, 2 June 2009

How NOT to write Web forms! Funny but frustrating

The webform above suggests that counties of the United Kingdom include places such as Abuja, Akita-ken, Alberta and BadenWurttemberg as well as Argyll. (The full list is much, much longer, of course, and ends, somewhat weirdly non-alphabetically, with Zakinthos, Odense So and Pennsylvania - bet the last two won't like being an afterhought!)

Helloooo web designers / programmers - if you're going to update sub-options on a form after a main option has been selected via the coding magic of Javascript, the point is to make life easier for the user by narrowing the sub-list down to only those options directly relating to their higher level choice.

In this case, the list of counties always stays exactly the same whichever country or state you choose, although it's clearly doing some processing (or making you thinking it is by spinning some wheels) when you click on the top level country. It's the same in Internet Explorer and Firefox both, in case you wonder, and yes with Javascript enabled.

To top it all, in the form above there is also no way to pick "London" or "Greater London" as your county, because neither of them appears in the dropdown list. Nor do individual London boroughs, before you ask. Very annoying.

I suppose I could always go for Xanthi as my county, just to put something down.

Or Uttar Pradesh, or the Vale of Glamorgan, Thessaloniki, Kelantan or Cleveland!

Usability police, where are you when we need you?

(Also on the webform front - funny/weird use of radio buttons; and dealing with multicultural names on web forms.)

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