The face of the web is changing, but are we keeping up with it? Forms are the basic unit of functionality, turning simple-looking web pages into feature-packed applications. But are we making full use of forms, pulling their full potential for making our users happy? This article describes a number of ways to customize web forms, to the ultimate goal of making users forget that they're using a form!
Good Form, Jack - Prevent Annoying Error Messages (Page 4 of 5 )
You and I spend a good deal of time ensuring that people have entered the proper data types into the fields of a form. In fact, we even think of pleasant error messages, such as: “Excuse me Sir/Madam, you seem to have entered an incorrect date. Please be so kind as to enter the date in this format...” You see, we know that we need the date to be entered as DD/MM/YYYY, and we've prevented any programming errors by telling them so politely. But it will still be bothersome for the user to now go back, and change the field from "tomorrow" to the proper format.
So how do we ensure that they're typing in data as we need it, before they even try to submit the form? Well, if you want, you could always just stand behind them and watch over their shoulder, even slap their hands if they mistype. You can call me crazy, but I'd much prefer a programmatic solution.