Guess what; just like the Roman god Janus every web application has two faces. Yes; it has human face and machine face. While the human face interacts with people, its machine face typically interacts with the computer systems. Keep in mind; it’s not tight to show too much of either face to the wrong audience. This may lead to error

A robust web application should be designed while keeping this aspect in mind. Typically a robust web application is one that-

  • Accepts input from users in a variety of forms
  • Accepts inputs based first on the needs and preferences of humans rather than machines
  • Translates the input to meet the requirements of computer systems
  • Defines boundaries for reasonable input in a given context
  • Provides clear feedback to the user

Input of Numbers for a Robust Web Application

As already briefed web application has two faces hence translating inputs play a major role when it comes to the point of translating numbers. It makes sense to mention that humans understand the terms “one,” “1,” and “1.00” to be roughly equivalent. However they are very different to a computer. Usually in most of the programming languages, each is a different type of data. Each has unique characteristics. This means trying to perform math on the wrong kind of data may lead to unexpected results.

So for a robust web application if in case the user need to enter a number, the developer should make sure that the input meets the computer’s definition.

Input of Dates for a robust web application

Just like the input of numbers, to the machine dates and times stand as the special case of numbers. The developer and interface designers thus should attempt to get as close to this human experience as possible.

They can do that by revisiting some typical methods of requesting a date from users

Input of Addresses for a robust web application

It needs to be mentioned here that address fields tend to be based on database design rather than based on the convenience of human users. Often the web masters may have a clear business need for storing the information in discrete fields

The Google Geocoding API, for example, might translate it the address with a high level of granularity for mapping applications. In fact the Google Geocoding API thus provides a direct way to access these services via an HTTP request.

Keep the ‘Two Faces’ of Your Web Application in Mind