Microsoft connect bug submission form validation
1/9/2014 11:06:02 AM
The Microsoft connect bug submission form does not show sufficient feedback to let users correct their input. For example: submitting a bug to (for example) the SBS Connect site at https://connect.microsoft.com/SBS/Feedback, through the bug submission form at https://connect.microsoft.com/SBS/feedback/CreateFeedback.aspx. When an entry is made on this form with a ReproSteps field of more than 500 characters, the user is shown the error message:
"Required information is missing as indicated below. Please fill in this information and submit again"
The problem is that:
1. This error message is incorrect, and contains no information to indicate to the user what the actual problem is with their form entries
2. The error message tells the user that there is an indication below of which information is missing - this is not the case.
3. This error message does not indicate which of the many fields on the page contains the problem.
The Connect dev team have accepted this specific example, and their solution to fix it is to increase the character limit on the ReproSteps field. However this does not solve the actual issue, which is that the Form Validation is not giving useful, or correct, feedback to the user detailing why form validation failed.
The Connect website should therefore provide users with specific, best practice, form validation error messages that help users correct their input and submit forms successfully. For example:
• Display clearly what the exact validation error is in a summary at the top of the screen. The current error message is “Required information is missing as indicated below. Please fill in this information and submit again”, which can be totally incorrect for a lot of the validation errors. Errors should include anything that the dev team have put on as input restrictions such as
o Missing fields that are required
o Input too long
o Input too short
o Input containing disallowed characters
• Highlighting the exact field that is an issue: even with the correct error in the summary the user won’t be able to correct their input without knowing which field caused it, for example, highlight the ReproSteps field in a different colour if that field is causing a problem