Don’t Use Placeholder Text as Input Field Labels — Unless...

I often see UX designers warn against using placeholder text as input field labels, and for good reason.

Try typing inside the input field below and see what happens:

The placeholder text disappears as soon as you start typing.

Why is this problem? Because in a bigger form, than say your average email and password login form, the user can easily get confused about whether they filled out the form correctly if they can’t see the input field labels (here placeholder text serving as the only labels) as soon as they’ve typed inside it.

The reason many designers love using placeholders as the only text in input fields is that it makes your UI look cleaner and less cluttered — which is a good thing.

Unfortunately, you also risk confusing your users, which is the last thing you want.

Fortunately, there’s a solution to this problem, that allows you to have a clean UI while providing all the necessary info to the user. It’s called Floating Labels.

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