Why is it that we are (almost) always asked for redundant information? For instance, when completing a form that includes your (snail) mailing address, you need to specify the city, state and zip (postal) code. Why all three? Being required to provide all three has always struck me as a complete waste of time (and frankly, annoying to boot). Someone goes to the trouble of providing a menu for the value of the state. Why not have an ajax call triggered by entering something in the zip code, that automatically completes the city and state (or at least narrows the choices)?
Here's a service (from the U.S. Postal Service) that can tell you the zip code for a given address. There's a derivative service that can tell you the zip for a given city and state, and there's even a related service that can narrow the city and state given a zip code.
I could understand asking for the redundant information if the form were to validate the city and state against the zip (and vice versa) as a means of helping to improve the integrity of the information. However, I seriously doubt that any such validation is performed in the vast majority of cases.Granted, the services I cited could be better designed for non-human consumption (and for human consumption, for that matter... seriously) but none-the-less, such services do exist, why not use them?
Department of Redundancy Department
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