Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Desperately seeking empty rectangle...

Since the birth of commercially available graphical user interfaces over two decades ago, we've used blank rectangles to indicate where information needs to be typed. In the business, we call the user interface elements "edit controls."

Lately, thanks to the latest user interface trend, I've found myself frustratedly hunting for them, because designers are filling them with instructions like "Enter a word or phrase..."

The example above is far from the most egregious case of this. I've seen much worse at several other sites.

What used to be an easily discovered block of white space has now become more text in a sea of text. The longstanding tradition of informative text inside a rectangle being immutable exacerbates the situation even more.


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