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Internet Forms

How annoying it is to think of a new password, enter it, and then have the site tell you it doesn’t meet its criteria? Only after you don’t include enough capital letters, enter too few characters, or fail to include a symbol, does the site reveal its acceptable password criteria. Very frustrating.

So, when a form does try to assist you, don’t miss it.

I’m referring specifically to entering a date: your birthday, credit card expiration, airline travel, mail stop, etc. Sometimes there is a tumbler feature or a calendar that allows you to click your information, but often there is a box and a blinking cursor, daring you to enter acceptable information.

If so, look for clues. If you see “mm/dd/yyyy” in or near the box, the site developer is asking you to enter a two-digit month, two-digit day, and four-digit year. If you enter any other iteration of the date — even if it’s the correct date — the form will most likely reject the information. You can enter 6/4/18, but if 06/04/2018 is required, you could get an error message. (And if the site does not instruct clearly, it may not explain corrections clearly either, leaving you to wonder what the problem is.)

Even when you get a clue, the information can still be misleading. Note image above asking for one thing and giving you a different example.

If an internet-based form gives you the clues you need, heed them. Or at least try to.