As User Experience (UX) developers, it is our duty to make human-computer interaction as simple, efficient and clear as possible. Take this standard shopping cart checkout form for example:
It very clearly is inspired by the format we use to address mail for the US postal system. Familiar, yes, but it is not taking advantage of all our computers have to offer us. We have the ability to derive secondary inputs from primary inputs.
Primary information is human input or any information that can not be regenerated automatically
In this example, city and state can be derived automatically by a user’s zip code. All it takes is a free zip code database and a little effort.
Here’s that same input set, redesigned :
This format has many advantages:
- Copying of duplicate values via a simple interface
- Default values. Most companies have a country in which they do the majority of their business
- Primary inputs are hierarchical and secondary inputs are dynamically filled.
- Auto-populated fields (city and state) are still editable after the automation
The end result? The average user has to fill out 3 fields rather than 12.
Speeding up and simplifying this process increases conversions and makes our users happy. And that’s what we want, happy, converted users.