Nike+ seems not to be a fan of Canadian users either

Let’s all please stop limiting the user in his experience by trying to be smarter than him

The other day I wrote about my difficulties signing up to the Starbucks app using a Canadian postal code.

In that situation the app tried to be smarter than the user by disallowing the input of the following valid Canadian postal code:

V3N 0A2

Back then I thought this must be an exception and that such a faux pas simply slipped through the cracks at a company like Starbucks.

Well, I guess I was wrong.

Yesterday I tried to update my address on the website of Nike+ and I ran into a very similar problem.

My old German zip code 10405 was perfectly accepted and still correctly in the system but once I tried changing it to my new Canadian postal code V3N 0A2 I again wasn’t allowed to do so.

So I tried quite some combinations trying to figure out what was going wrong.

From what I can tell so far the following postal codes are not allowed:

  • With letters
  • With Spaces
  • With more than 5 characters
  • With combinations of the above

So, what postal codes are allowed then?

  • 5 digit, numeric-only without spaces (like for the US or Germany)

I’ve been in touch with Nike’s support regarding this (see below) and there has been some back and forth so far. They asked me to sign out and back in, clear my cache, etc., so I used a different device, a different browser, cleared my cache, etc. but unfortunately all to no avail.

Their current final suggestion is for me to call them and to take it from there. Honestly though, I think they should rather fix this problem than me giving them a call.

Well, so far my problem has not been resolved, so that my address is now partially Canadian and partially German. How fun!

Let’s just hope Nike will not try sending me any postcards to this address.

What now?

Improve the user experience without standing in the user’s way.

Taking a step back I still do not understand why there’s a restriction on these kinds of fields for services like Nike+ or the Starbucks app. Do you really need to make sure my postal code is correct? How often are you planning to send physical letters to me? Nowadays? Probably not that often.

If you’re trying to be smart, please be smart in a way, so that it actually helps the user’s experience and doesn’t make it worse — or in this case impossible—for the user to enter correct and valid data.

Oh, and in case you’re interested you can have a look at my tries on Nike+ below:

My old German postal code 10405 ist perfectly fine.
My new valid Canadian postal code V3N A02 is not accepted.
A six digit alphanumeric postal code without a space (V3NA02) is not accepted either.
A five digit alphanumeric postal code without a space (V3NA0) is also not accepted.
A six digit numeric postal code without a space (123456) is not accepted.
And a five digit alphanumeric postal code without a space (1234A) is also not accepted.