Don't Confuse Your Customers with "Address Line 2", use This Instead!

Lady entering her address details online

 

In recent years, there has been a rapid change of focus from back end data solutions driving website data collection requirements to user experience driven design.  The old adage ‘The Customer is King’ seems to be doing the rounds again.  We are obviously interested in the address side of data collection and have for years wondered why it is seen as preferential to not only store an address as a parsed set of elements but also collect it as such. 

This study shows the frustrations people encounter https://baymard.com/blog/address-line-2 at the presence of unexpected data collection items. In particular, “Address Line 2”.

The study states, “While there’s nothing wrong with including “Address Line 2” in the address form, our large-scale Cart & Checkout testing reveals that the “Address Line 2” form field can be a surprisingly difficult hurdle for some users to overcome when filling out their address information.

In fact, our usability testing shows users coming to a halt and puzzling over the field, inputting incorrect information in the field, or simply becoming distracted by the field and staring at it, without ever entering any information into it. For some users, the field is quite frustrating, increasing the chance that they would leave the checkout without completing it.”

 

Angry customer

So as an address is a description of a place, why not have it entered into a single text area?  It is likely to be written in the format required to send mail and in the order needed to get better validation.  For example, if a multi-line box is used, it is a small matter to replace the {Enter} character with a comma or space and call our software to verify. Thereby eliminating the “confusion” for the user on which parts of their address goes into which field, or angering the user when their ‘town’ or similar is not seen as such.

A validated address can be presented to the backend solution and mapped into components if desired. If not, then alternative formats can be used.  Hopewiser has always preferred the address as a single entity. Fine-tuned over the last 36 years, Hopewiser’s software uses the latest and most powerful cross-matching technology to make a unique match. It intelligently identifies which details are available, allowing vanity elements to be kept or thrown away, as desired.

Hopewiser has always maintained that the process of populating the structure using the single address block ensures a much higher accuracy than giving the user an ambiguous “Address Line 2” field, which can be interpreted in a number of ways. Let proper matching software do the work! Great to see our method is very much in vogue.

Address Lookup example