Monday, April 14, 2014

Online Address Forms Pet Peeve

Maybe I need to get a life if this is the biggest thing I can complain of, but here it is, anyway.

Whenever I have to fill out an address online, it usually goes like this:

Name: Blah Blah

Country: Here, I usually find a drop down list of countries, even on a site like Sally's Local Cupcakes. The United States half the time is listed near the bottom (alphabetical order, you know), so a huge scroll down is needed. A few sites have listed the source of 99% of their business (US, UK, Canada) at the top before the alphabetical list begins.

Street Address: Blah Blah

City: fill in

State: fill in

Zip Code: fill in

And that's exactly my peeve. Hello!!! If the site asked for the zip code right after the street address, then the Country, City, and State names could be autopopulated through a zip code/post code lookup. Is that so hard?

United States zipcodes, such as 98765 are quite different from UK codes, such as AB12 3CD and those differ from Canadian post codes such as T4B 1M5. So the country look up should work for the major players. At the minimum, go ahead and ask the country first and then the post code.

Come to think of it, any smart Web site can look back at the originating IP address of the browser, at least to the country level, and likely to the local POP (point of presence). When I used to use a VPN connection while working from home, I could browse over to Home Depot and see how much cheaper items were in Minnesota, where the company's servers connected to the Net.

Ok. Enough whining.

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