Stefano Tommesani

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Today I have encountered the following error message in a major web site:



  • there was no warning on the web page about this limitation (e.g. "type up to 3000 chars")
  • there was no warning while typing that I was entering too much text, so that I would not waste time writing feedback that I cannot submit (no real-time hints)
  • I only knew about it at the end of the process, when I clicked on then Submit button at the bottom of the form and the request was rejected (slow feedback loop)
  • there was no information about how much the text I entered was longer that the maximum lenght allowed (e.g. "your text is 45 chars too long"), so I had no idea of how much should I shorten it (focus on the requirements, not on what the user is doing wrong). It became a slow trial-and-error experience, cutting a bit and clicking Submit, getting the error message and repeating again, and again... is this what you call "being user friendly"?

I see these UI mistakes daily. Many web sites, even from major brands, have terrible UIs that choke if entered data is only slightly different than what they expect, and signaling of errors happens only when users submit a whole form instead of providing local, real-time assistance with entered data not matching the specifications.

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