Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names

Forms are tough, and names are one of the least thought about things in the world of UX.

If you’re working on management systems, billing systems, intranets, or really anything where people enter their names and that information populates other systems then you should read this.

I have lived in Japan for several years, programming in a professional capacity, and I have broken many systems by the simple expedient of being introduced into them. (Most people call me Patrick McKenzie, but I’ll acknowledge as correct any of six different “full” names, any many systems I deal with will accept precisely none of them.) Similarly, I’ve worked with Big Freaking Enterprises which, by dint of doing business globally, have theoretically designed their systems to allow all names to work in them. I have never seen a computer system which handles names properly and doubt one exists, anywhere.