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13:6 Minimize User Data Entry

Relative Importance:

Relative Importance rating of 4 out of 5

Strength of Evidence:

Strength of Evidence rating of 3 out of 5

Document Type: Guideline


Controls and Widgets


Do not require users to enter the same information more than once.


Requiring re-entry of data imposes an additional task on users, and increases the possibility of entry errors. When entries made by users on one page are required on another page, the computer should retrieve the original entries, rather than requiring re-entry of the same information. In general, require users to make as few entries as possible.


  • Czaja, S.J., & Sharit, J. (1997). The influence of age and experience on the performance of a data entry task. Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting Proceedings, 144-147.
  • Smith, S.L. & Mosier, J.N. (1986, August). Guidelines for designing user interface software. The MITRE Corporation Technical Report (ESD-TR-86-278).
  • Zimmerman, D.E., Akerelrea, C.A., Buller, D.B., Hau, B., & LeBlanc, M. (2002). Integrating usability testing into the development of a 5-a-day nutrition Web site for at-risk populations in the American Southwest. Journal of Health Psychology.

Poor Example:

This example is poor because if the person is self-employed they will possibly have to retype the same information for home and work.


Good Example:

Clicking this button will prompt the server to copy information from the 'Billing Address' column to the 'Shipping Address' column, thus eliminating the need for users to re-input the data (if it is the same).


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