Web Forms: First/Last Name vs. Full Name
Posted on 2005-05-09
I am reworking a system with a form that collects the Prefix, First Name, Last Name and Suffix using four separate textboxes.
We lookup registrants but the query looks in both the First Name and Last Name fields combined. We currently use the fields for correspondence but nothing different than what people would normally enter their name as (Mr. John Smith, PHD).
My question is, why should I bother collecting this information in separate fields? Why not just use a Full Name field? I understand the obvious stuff like: being able to format the name and sorting by first/last name. But, fundementally, doesn't it make more sense to let people just enter their own name?
I am looking for comments from those who have contemplated this and made a decision one way or another. I am part of a comittee and I proposed this a way to simplify our form but I would like some expert input.
Points will increase based on the number of responses and the level of information provided. Links to specific articles or resources would be very helpful as well.
Thank you all.