Don’t Go Halfway With Your Validation Messages

You silly developers and your little halfhearted feints toward usability. Why don’t you just go all the way and not put any effort into it at all?

Take, for instance, the validation messages that display when the user doesn’t enter required data in the Web form on the Washburn Guitars Death By Decibels contest.

On one hand, the validation is client-side, which is very, very good, but the validation messages use the variable names instead of the labels on the controls:

fname you, too, buddy
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I mean, it’s not the worst case scenario that the variable names are fname and lname, but sometimes these forms trigger validation that say esoterica like q32 is blank or tbSttate is blank.

No, if you’re not going to provide easy-to-use validation messages, developers, you might as well just put the validation logic in the message box. Because fname=”” is only slightly less user friendly for your great aunt Maysie who’s just on this Internet thing to enter contests for things she can win but probably wouldn’t know what to do with, such as an electric guitar.

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