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Underline Edit Boxes
I like to make fun of designers who reinvent common widgets simply because they can. The big advantage of using a standard HTML edit box is consistency -- more people will recognize it and know how to use it.
But when you have a long form with many fields, all those lines start to look ugly, so I've gotten into the bad habit of using style sheets so that my edit boxes are just underlines, not boxes. This is "consistent" more with paper forms, and someone even told me he thought he was going to have to print out the page when he saw the beta application form using underlines.
It probably does reduce learnability, marginally, to use underlines for edit boxes instead of boxes. But then again, they're really cool looking :) and I can't bear to switch them back to boxes. What's your opinion?
You’re reading Joel on Software, stuffed with years and years of completely raving mad articles about software development, managing software teams, designing user interfaces, running successful software companies, and rubber duckies.
I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, which lets you organize anything, together, FogBugz, enlightened issue tracking software for bug tracking, and Kiln, which provides distributed version control and code reviews. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.