Google is currently the de facto standard in search and you’ll benefit by thinking about Google as you build your site.
Here’s how Google describes this feature:
“The AutoFill tab in Toolbar Options enables you to automatically complete forms on the web. Enter your information and it’s stored securely on your own computer. When you see yellow-colored form fields on web pages, you can choose to have Google complete the form for you with the information you’ve entered.
AutoFill stores personal data where only you can access it — your own computer. And your credit card data is encrypted and protected by a password you set. None of this information is ever sent to Google. In the Toolbar, the AutoFill button is enabled when you visit a page with fields that AutoFill can fill. Otherwise, the button in the Toolbar appears gray”
As users download and become comfortable with the Google Toolbar, they will demand that sites build forms that work with the AutoFill feature. Luckily, Google likes standards:
“You can ensure that AutoFill will work on your pages by using field names defined in the ECML (Electronic Commerce Modeling Language) standard, found at http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3106.txt.”
Now for some sites, it may be onerous to change data field names on all forms. But if you have the option, you should use any existing standards. While the ECML field names may not have been important when you built your forms, now that Google has brought the standard to consumers, it will be.
Originally posted to the Internet Best Practice Newsletter. To receive your free copy.