Forgiving Format

Problem summary

The user needs to quickly enter data into the system, which then in turn interprets the user's input.


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Allow users to enter text in their own format and syntax, and let the system interpret it intelligently

Let users focus on getting things done rather than typing in things correctly. Lower the barrier for users to interact by allowing a broad spectrum of formats and syntaxes to be inputted. Consider nudging users to provide more easily interpreted information by paying attention to how you ask for input.

Transfer the problem inputting data from a user interface problem to a programming problem. Behind the scenes, an interpreter checks for different word patterns, and converts them into a formatted value.


Using the forgiving format pattern saves space and decreases the barrier for the user to interact with the system.

Depending on how widely defined the input topic is, it can be increasingly hard for the backend program to interpret the input field. The success of this pattern has much to do with how information requested – how the user is prompted.


Do you need to use this pattern in your project?

This  and others patterns are available and ready to use in this massive Wireframe Bundle. Suitable for a wide variety of projects: Website and landing pages, Ecommerce, Dashboard, Flowchart and iOS.

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