Masks work: Helping users enter data correctly

Helping both groups

What we found applies to helping any type of user use our products. To help collect information more effectively, there were two ways we can approach this task. We can fix the data on the back end or we can format the data as the user enters it. Fixing the information on the back end helps those who have to use the data, but does not help users who have to enter it.

The front end helps users

Providing assistance to help users understand the required format, masking text fields and using appropriate input controls reduces the room for errors. Showing users how data needs to be entered reduces cognitive load and guessing what is expected. It helps to reduce errors and user frustration.

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