3 Replies Latest reply: Sep 2, 2010 12:01 PM by 843810 RSS

    Handling address related information for different countries

    843810
      Hi,

      We are trying to understand the best way to display / query address related information (while designing internationalization for our application) - from users based on their locale - for example we would need to ask zip code - if the user is in US, in UK it would be postal code , there would be counties in UK but not in India etc . Is there some guideline / frame work for designing address related forms for international applications?

      Thanks in Advance for your help !!
        • 1. Re: Handling address related information for different countries
          843810
          Yes - don't try to be "smart" and put each piece of information into separate fields, asking for different pieces depending on locale, and doing verification. There are just WAY too many different variations for you to get it right, and you end up with users being unable to enter their information.

          Just provide 1 address field, and have the user enter all the information - street address, zip/postal code, city, etc. in that field.Store it as one field.
          • 2. Re: Handling address related information for different countries
            800457
            >
            Just provide 1 address field, and have the user enter all the information - street address, zip/postal code, city, etc. in that field.Store it as one field.
            That has to be some of the poorest advice I have seen in quite a while. All you will end up with is an unusable collection of wrong and incomplete address data.

            For the most part just label the fields to indicate the equivalencies - "Zip/Postal Code" or "State/Province". People are smart enough to figure that out.
            • 3. Re: Handling address related information for different countries
              843810
              The problem is that you need different pieces of information for different countries, and they need to be in a different order. Some information is required for some countries, some information does not exist for some countries, and the content for certain pieces of information is different for some countries.

              If you are not going to do any kind of verification of the information (zip code, for instance), and also not check whether the field is filled in at all, then it doesn't matter if you have separate fields.

              There are 3 choices:
              1. Implement correct addresses for every single country in the world
              2. Implement correct addresses for a few select countries, and then state clearly that you only support those countries
              3. Treat an address as a single piece of information

              Good luck with #1.