在表單上發送消息時,"字段"一詞是否太技術化?


39

在表單上寫幫助或確認消息時,我通常按照以下方式寫東西:

  • "此字段為必填項"
  • "需要在此表單上更正5個字段"

術語 field 是不是太技術性了?還是tinternet的普通公眾/用戶廣泛理解了?

還有更好的選擇嗎?

24

A "field" wouldn't just apply to the internet (or technical manifestations of forms).

Any form where the user fills in spaces contains "fields" and it's common on paper forms (such as application forms, tax return forms, etc.) to see text such as *Please complete all the fields marked with a * *, etc.

So I'd say this is a widely used term in the "real world". So the use of the term "fields" in this scenario would be generally accepted and makes perfect sense.


43

In short yes - unless you are dealing with a technical audience.

Instead, refer to what is required in this case. If it's name, say 'Your name is required'.

One useful bit of advice that all UX people should stick to is 'decode your language'. That means remove technical jargon and get rid of code names for projects and abbreviations. Many UX people coming from a technical background have a big problem with this as it goes against most of their programming instincts.


1

The thing is I can think of no scenario where saying "field" would feel better than actually specifying what informations you are referring to.

(EDIT: as discussed in the comments, whether such an alternative actually exists in every scenario is another question)

So is it okay to be lazy instead of being precise about the thing you are talking about?

Well, no.


3

According to this report from the Nielsen Norman Group,

Our report on designing websites for senior citizens includes the following usability guideline:

"If using web or browser-related terms, consider defining them in place. Avoid using them if they are not necessary." [emphasis theirs, not mine]

[...]

Many users today understand standard web-related terms. But, in this study, many seniors were unsure about web terminology, such as page, homepage, website, or the web.

[...]

Some of the points and questions seniors made about web-related terms:

  • “Is this a website or a web page? I don’t know the difference.”
  • “I don’t know what ‘URL’ means. What is that?”
  • “I don’t always know exactly what the word ‘web’ means.”
  • “Is the homepage part of a website?”
  • Another user couldn’t find an item on a particular page and said, “I don’t think I see it under this site.”

If these users were being confused by terms like "web page" and "URL," it's likely they'd be confused by a word like "field." So, if you're expecting a significant number of your users to be seniors or inexperienced with computers, this report suggests that it would be best to avoid that word.


6

The term "field" is not sufficient on it's own without context - we should strive to reduce surprise for our users by filling in the context for a term that could arguably be considered 'technical.'

"Field errors, Last Name, SSN, Home Phone are required." doesn't do any good to explain what the user should do - and really what the heck a 'field' error is.

"The form is incomplete, please fill out the following fields before submitting the form: Last Name, SSN, and Home Phone." (emphasis added) - This is a message that puts enough context to the term 'field' that it is easily understood, even if the term itself is unknown to the user.


0

As @Liam pointed out, the term "field" is used in other contexts and may be known to most users out there. Nevertheless, your application doesn't really requires the "field", but the information it should contain.

So, stating "your e-mail is required to complete your registration" is more accurate than "the field 'e-mail' is required to perform this action".