The first television broadcasts were actually radio broadcasts with a person on a screen reading the radio messages. In data entry we still see the same aspects. Did you ever wonder why we still feed a computer system with data as if we were writing an address on an envelope.
In the old days we knew how to contact, or how to write, but we needed additional information for the postman in order to find the person we had in mind. So we started with the smallest granularity, namely John from the Smiths family. Than we specified the street and the house number, the postal code and city ending with the country. And we do know that the order differs per country.
Now take the recent example, and I’m sure you’ve recognized it in your own environment.
Whilst the system could help you much faster if you would start with the largest granularity, data entry systems and especially contact information is still done in the old way. By starting at country level the system could immediately advice that it will not be shipped outside the US and if they did ship outside the US, system could provide the right postal code pattern, address format (house number before or after the street), could validate if the state is located in the country, if city is located in that state, if street is available in the city, and if person is living in that house. Now you need to wait until all fields are filled before you get the frustrating message, that Alabama is not a state of The Netherlands.
I have hope that this will change, Car navigation systems do not care anymore how to enter the address, provide the information you have, and they suggest the missing parts. Let’s place a browser in the car navigation, or change our way of working in the browsers …