Automatically displaying phone country code or not?

15 Jan 2009 - 7:13am
5 years ago
6 replies
651 reads
Morten Just
2008

We have a sign up form with

* A country selector
* A phone number input field

We now have at least two options

Option 1
When the user chooses their language, automatically show the country code in
front of the phone number field.

In that way users don't have to worry if they should put in their country
code or not when entering their phone number.

Option 2
Do nothing. However, the system accepts 00(country code), +(country code)
and no country code at all.

In that way users can enter their phone number as they like. The concern
here is that the user would be confused by not knowing if the country code
is necessary or not.

What do you think?

Comments

15 Jan 2009 - 8:30am
Morten Just
2008

Oops, just realised my slip -

I meant 'country' and not 'language' in option one. Language
selection is automatic. Thanks, James.

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15 Jan 2009 - 12:36pm
Karri Ojanen
2008

Why not choose option 2 and just add a bit of copy next to the field
to explain that it's not necessary (or that it is) to input your
country code?

Karri Ojanen

---
http://www.conceptology.org

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15 Jan 2009 - 7:47am
Nik
2009

With Option #1 you may find users will be confused about whether to
drop the first zero from their phone number when entering it into the
number field.

Nicolas.

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15 Jan 2009 - 8:25am
raymond crowley
2009

Option 1 may work nicely for dk, se, fi etc but consider Switzerland,
Luxembourg, Belgium etc.

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16 Jan 2009 - 4:20am
James Page
2008

In a remote study we conducted a month ago using participants in France,
Austria, the Netherlands, and Italy. We found that virtually all the
participants entered their phone numbers the way that they are used to,
ignoring all instructions on the form. Participants in the countries tested
just did not worry about the format they where entering the information in.

This study had a very high n.

The participants would then edit the phone number when it failed the
validation.

The solution is to allow the user to enter their phone number in any format,
and then convert it to the way you want it stored. So go with Option 2.

Some participants entered the number with a leading +, others with leading
00, others with just the area code and the number.

It is possible to parse phone numbers, but it is hard. The is because
country codes have between one and three leading numbers. For example the US
is "1", the UK is "44", and another is "353".... Some participants just
start with the country code. No + sign, no leading 0's. If you go with the
option 2, watch out for Italy, and the old Russian countries, as they some
weird number formats for phone numbers.

All the best

James
http://blog.feralabs.com

2009/1/15 raymond crowley <raycrowley at gmail.com>

> Option 1 may work nicely for dk, se, fi etc but consider Switzerland,
> Luxembourg, Belgium etc.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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18 Jan 2009 - 5:37pm
Adrian Howard
2005

On 15 Jan 2009, at 12:13, Morten Just wrote:
[snip]
> Option 1
> When the user chooses their language, automatically show the country
> code in
> front of the phone number field.
>
> In that way users don't have to worry if they should put in their
> country
> code or not when entering their phone number.
[snip]

Are you sure that everybody's phone number is in the same country? Not
necessarily true for some folk :)

Adrian

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