[whatwg] Hide placeholder on input controls on focus

Tim Streater tim at clothears.org.uk
Tue Mar 19 07:42:00 PDT 2013

On 18 Mar 2013 at 23:44, Glenn Maynard <glenn at zewt.org> wrote: 

> On Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 12:51 PM, Markus Ernst <derernst at gmx.ch> wrote:
>> A reason for the behaviour of Firefox and Chrome may be that some user may
>> not have read the placeholder text before focusing the control. Anyway, if
>> this behavior lets some users think they can't even fill in the form, there
>> must be something wrong about it.

> I've seen browsers (or maybe pages emulating placeholder in script) that
> hide the placeholder text while the input field is focused.  When the
> placeholders are labels for the inputs, it's incredibly annoying to have to
> focus something else in order to see the placeholder text.  If placeholders
> are meant to be useful and not just eyecandy, they need to remain visible
> until the user enters something.

But that's not what users do. You read the placeholder text, which may may hint at what is expected there, and the field should have a separate label. Then you focus there, and the placeholder text should vanish. Why? because I've lost count of the number of users I see trying to select the placeholder text so they can delete it, and then start typing.

Cheers  --  Tim

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