August 15, 2005

An open letter to all american websites, web developers and usability experts

Dear Webmaster,

surely you are having a contact form somewhere on your site where i can contact you by providing my Address, Phone and such. It'll probably look something like this:

Sample Form

Please be aware that many countries do not need any States in a postal address. In fact, in many countries it is totally uncommon to have a state included in a postal address - some don't even have any states at all.

So please, please, please do not make the STATE fields on your contact forms mandatory. If you're clever, you can decide on making them mandatory depending on the Country chosen. But please, once i selected Germany or such (you'd have to research that country-list on your own - i was to lazy to research it and only make states mandatory IF USA was selected as country) do not make the State Field mandatory!

Oh, and while we're at it: Our phone numbers are also formatted differently and might have a different total length, so don't force us to format them like 123-123-1234 (German area codes might have 4 to 5 digits for example).

Thanks so much for not being ignorant about foreign countries!

This is driving me mad for almost a decade now.



As an inhabitant of a country smaller than most US states: request seconded.

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