Ask DN: Placeholders or Labels?
over 8 years ago from Matthew Kosloski, Front-end developer and designer
I'm currently designing and developing several future projects that have forms. I see most people using labels, however; I see people using placeholders as "labels", too. I want to know your guys' thoughts on using placeholder and labels; specifically using placeholders as "labels".
This is an example of placeholders being used as "labels". I really like it, and I think it looks nice.
In my personal opinion, placeholders look much nicer, and make the form look less compact; however, labels are more practical for two reasons:
• They are supported, to my knowledge, on all browsers. (Including Internet Explorer). This really sucks. As this article states, placeholders AREN'T supported by Internet Explorer prior to version 10.
• If a user is typing in a field with a placeholder as its "label", and for some horrifying reason forgets what he was supposed to be typing, the placeholder disappears. Labels will be there no matter what. This really isn't that big of a deal, just start over!
Just wanted to know your guys' thoughts on this subject. A lot of people in the development communities (like Stackoverflow) think that placeholders should never be a replacement to a label. Hmm... I just noticed this Designer News form using placeholders!
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