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Never Use Inline Labels This is the 7th in a series of 8 articles on mobile usability that draw on findings from our mobile e-commerce usability report. And while good looks and space efficiency are valid benefits of inline labels, these are by far outweighed by the major usability drawbacks of inline labels, the most significant of which is the loss of context.
The Problem Example of fields with and without labels. Ultimately the label is the only thing that makes one field unique from the next. At their core, form fields are all alike.
They are rectangular boxes on the screen. What distinguishes one field from the next is its label — the label is the defining context for that box. This not only makes it more difficult for users to fill out the fields, it also makes it much more difficult to correct any validation errors they run into.
During the mobile e-commerce research study we observed numerous test subjects struggle with fields that had inline labels. This echoed what we observed during our e-commerce checkout research where subjects also struggled with inline labels — only the problem proved even more severe on mobile.
During the mobile e-commerce study, inline labels caused severe flow and typing issues and on validation errors the subjects often deleted their entire input just to see the label again.
In a few instances these issues were so severe the subjects abandoned the site. Inline labels are a prime example of false simplicity. They look simple, but are in fact very tricky to use.
This is especially true when it comes to fixing validation errors; Fandango offers up a good example. Of course a better error message would have helped too, but being unable to see vital context for the field forces the user to either guess or delete their entire input just to see the label again.
Which of course were the two courses of action the subjects resorted to — quite understandably to great vexation. Exceptions It is this loss of context which makes inline labels a poor choice in most cases.
However, there are a few instances where inline labels do have merit. However, as soon as there are more fields, different types of data is needed, or the fields are used infrequently, inline labels become problematic.
Conclusion In summary, the general advice is to avoid inline labels in forms. In the case of drop-down fields or regular text fields where there are input requirements that may yield validation errors upon submissionthe field should always have a separate permanently visible label regardless of the number of fields.
In longer forms of three or more fields, separate labels should always be used too, to ensure the user has the necessary context at hand when filling out the form. When separate labels are used, the inline placeholder text may be used for formatting examples or other brief descriptions that can help guide the user without being necessary to understand the field.Studies performed on e-commerce by various researchers reveal that mobile e-commerce is going to be the next “big thing” in e-commerce industry.
With smartphones being the emerging and driving force in the field of technology, the use of internet in today’s world is not limited only to desktops and laptops. Keywords: mobile commerce issues, m commerce limitations The recent years have seen an explosive growth in the mobile phone industry.
Research has shown that the number of mobile phone subscribers at the end of the year has passed billion. ashio-midori.com is an initiative of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN).
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Run simple with the best in cloud, analytics, mobile and IT solutions. Commerce Sales Service. This story, "10 common mobile security problems to attack" was originally published by Network World To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
To be fair mobile commerce is only full of advantages and no disadvantages. Apps are better in every aspect compared to a website and in coming future, as the smartphones become more powerful and apps become more responsive they will surely replac.