An Online Data Entry Pet Peeve

Am I the only one who runs into this problem online?

I’m asked to enter a number into a form. In this case, I entered 20,000.

Picture 7

I submit the form, and am told this:

Form Data Entry Error Message

Since when is 20,000 not a number?

This is a common example of what happens when programmers forget that humans are their customers. If you don’t want a comma in the number, say so in advance. If you’re a good programmer who cares about your customer just remove the comma automatically.

I also see this a lot with phone number fields. Some sites want dashes. Some don’t. Some limit the field to 10 digits so you find out the hard way that dashes aren’t accepted when you hit a brick wall with two digits to go.

Every site has to deal with issues like this, so you think there would be a better forms for human use by 2008.

Also, “1 error prevented this client from being saved” should not be a public facing error message. Who is that message addressing? Me? I don’t think so.

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