Design Better Input Fields
Andrew Coyle

For my 2 cents worth.

I think the current debate over placeholders will become like the link color debate of the 90s — e.g. Jakob Nielsen and others were adamant it should be default browser blue otherwise it would confuse users. Clearly that wasn’t the case, providing good affordances such as good contrast, visual hover cues such as underling etc. were sufficient and the web moved on. Placeholders can provide a convenient way to give prompts to users such as date format. Shifting these out of placeholders into labels can end up just adding noise to the screen (or worse not part of the label and not accessible to those using assistive technologies).

Which brings me to my second point — 3 input fields for a phone number. It’s either going to break accessibility because the label can be for 1 input, not 3 or at best its going to put additional burden on the user.

Great care needs to be taken in making assumptions about things like Phone number and location. Because I am physically in the US and completing a form does not necessarily mean that I have a US phone number.

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