Is it really that difficult or are developers just lazy


Honest question. Is it really difficult to label a text box for what it is supposed to contain, I.E. email, phonr number, zip code etc? It really bothers me when I go to fill out an online form or a profile in an app and I get the wrong keyboard for the text box. I have played around with VS and I could always label the box for what it was supposed to contain. Is that not true in every case?

Comments (16)

16 responses to “Is it really that difficult or are developers just lazy”

  1. Nic

    It's usually not the developers, rather it is an edict that comes down from the User Experience (UX) team who have a certain aesthetic that they want to see, this gets filters through a product manager, a program manager, and then down to the project manager who is running the spring for that quarter via the agile methodology the company has decided. The requirements pass along to the developer do not allow for any variation from what is put on the piece of paper, and so eliminates any idea of common sense. If the dev wants to change it then they are told "no, because that is out of scope" and so the label gets left off and we are all left wondering why the developer is an ass.

    • VancouverNinja

      In reply to Nic:

      If a developer identifies a clear UX input issue then I agree fully with your comment - that would amount to horrific project management and flawed technical specification review. I cringed when I read your comment. I do think sometimes things gets missed and the developer, and QA team, have a clear responsibility to surface all issues. If they don't, regardless of the team lead's decision to rectify or not, it is irresponsible.

      • Nic

        In reply to VancouverNinja:

        Sadly I see it all the time.

        A serious bug I reported has yet to be fixed because the team cannot fit it in their sprints due to the level of work required to provide resolution. This is not down to the dev who wants to fix it, but rather the ridiculous development methodologies that companies now require people to work under.

        • maethorechannen

          In reply to Nic:

          I've never understood why fixing bugs doesn't count as effort when working out velocity. Velocity being one of those things that "doesn't really matter" and yet strangely does really matter.

          To be honest, I'm fairly sure Agile is 80% complete BS.

  2. TheJoeFin

    I think the complexity comes when using the web. Native apps usually have that ability, but cross-platform solutions it can get messy to code and test, so devs probably just ignore that.

    I agree with you 100% though. It is so annoying to tap a textbox for inserting a phone number and having the standard keyboard pop up.

    Just did a quick search and found the HTML telephone input is only supported by Safari 8 or newer. Devs would probably have to code their own custom solution, or use a library to make sure it works everywhere.

  3. Patrick3D

    If the whole world spoke one language it would be easy. I do understand the frustration with not getting the right keyboard though, it is annoying that users are not even given the option of which keyboard to show by default. 3rd party keyboards are no better.

  4. skborders

    I appreciate the answers. Like I said, it was an honest question. I have at times thought, hey, I could get a job just to review code and relabel the text boxes.

  5. arunphilip

    Quite often:

    • Developers might not think to add it - they just want a box to type in text/numbers and end up putting in a plain old text box. Developers have to think ahead and realize the need for this (however simple it might be to actually do) for them to actually put that in.
    • Testers/testing might focus more on submitting the form to see it's behaviour (and submitting what text is needed to enable that), which means the act of typing in the text is either automated by the testing framework (i.e. not through the keyboard), or is often done via copy-paste from a test script. Testers have to consciously replicate the user experience to detect this, and should not be doing it by rote for them to understand the slight frustration of not having a context-aware keyboard.
    • Even if testers detect this, fix triage often prioritizes such a thing as a "nice to have" (which is often shorthand for "won't fix"), because time pressures put the focus on bugs that break functionality.

    Unless someone in the UX team explicitly adds the need for this as a feature up-front you can see how under a regular development cycle such a feature gets omitted.

  6. jimchamplin

    This is why independent devs often make software that looks, feels, and acts better than big corporate stuff. They don't have pencilnecks looking over their shoulders, saying it has to be done by some random time, or pushing ridiculous ideas that could have only been born in a board room.

    • VancouverNinja

      In reply to jimchamplin:


      Your statement does not hold true. I have had the displeasure of working with sloppy and lazy developers. A well planned out development project has several phases and requires deadlines - no if's and's or but's to it. To not implement deadlines in any serious development effort, generally leads to an out of control project.

      Another consistent issue I have experienced, with talented developers included, is the proclivity to do things "the most efficient way" and not the way that improves the user experience. A a pain in the butt to bust through that garbage excuse not to create something great and possibly new.

      You may have had the misfortune to work with very poor management or your comments are wildly off base. Either way development is hard and requires an adherence to excellence if one is to design and deploy a great software application. I am sure if you are a developer you have already read the Mythical Man Month - a seminal work on development that still holds true today.

  7. russellrexroad321

    A languid designer evades excess no matter what, typing a similar thing more than once is breaking one of the principal tenets of sluggish: re-utilize code at whatever point you can. I'm certain everybody has heard the expression, 'work keen not hard' previously, it's the mantra of any genuinely lethargic engineer or Essay Writer Uk. The exact opposite thing a sluggish designer needs to do is start to sweat or need to think too difficult to take care of an issue.

  8. Salvador Jesús Romero Castellano

    I made an app recently and i had to put a texbox for numbers input. After that I realized that for a subset of phones, if I selected to show the numeric keyboard for this texbox, the keyboard would not admit decimal inputs and the user could not fallback to the normal keyboard. So...

  9. Tim


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