Nov 27, 2008

The worst form input field in the Top 100 Internet Retailers (by annualized sales)

LastPass just came out with beta version 1.38, where we spent the week improving our form fill to perfection on the top 100 Internet retailers (by annualized sales). Overall it was a good exercise and improved our form filling capability dramatically on some sites.

This also exposed us to some questionable decisions made by some of the retailers in their forms. For example, some sites like to combine the credit card expiration month/year into a single select box. Nice if your expiration date is in 3 months, but when it's in 2017, and you have to scroll through over 100 entries it's a lot less usable. This is not a big deal; LastPass handles it so you won't have to think about it or waste time with it.

There was one form entry that we refuse to support on the moral grounds that this just needs to die. It looks like this:




Wow. An email field that asks you to split your email up into parts. It doesn't work well period, but it really doesn't work well with my email address from school (...@cs.umd.edu), nor for people in the rest of the world with multi level top level domains, or for people with long domains (it's too smal to fit them too).

This is particular gem is on Dr Foster and Smith's pet supply site (which just made the top 100), and gets close to a million unique visitors a month. Perhaps a little exposure will encourage them to fix it.

Bonus points to anyone who can find a similarly bad input entry on such a prominent site. I'll accept any site with over 100k unique visitors as judged by compete.com with one point per 100k uniques. The Dr Foster and Smith example is currently a 8.1. Can it be broken?

Enjoy Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

Joe

3 comments:

  1. intensedebate.com puts their comments form input before the label for what it's for -- not quite as big a WTF but do these people read English right to left?

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  2. Not nearly as bad but intensedebate.com is a 8.1, and that strange layout is on a lot of sites! 8.1 points to Anonymous!

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  3. I don't think there is anything wrong with it. My parents and grandparents still have problems with the concept that an email address is made of 3 main parts. And if you ever tried to explain it to someone who has only used AOL for year you know the frustration.

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