This one has me pondering. We have a user interface where the user can enter IP addresses. If the user wishes to enter multiple IP addresses, the instruction is to separate them with a comma. The UI displays the addresses as the user has entered them. Very similar to how you see multiple email address in the To field of an email. No problem.
On a new interface, when the user types a comma, the display treats it the way it would a carriage return, putting the new IP address on the next line. Huh! Easier to read and see what addresses have been added; different user experience. It raises two questions I find interesting:
- Should the UI display what the user typed or what the user decided? Using the comma to tell the computer, "This is a new IP address" is easy for the input phase, but should it preclude the computer from acknowledging that input in a way that is easier to process visually for the user.
- To what degree should innovation be constrained by convention (or consistency)?
No answers today. I'm enjoying the questions too much :-)