Checkout forms: Address1 vs. Address2


Last night, I was working at my computer while my 15-year-old was buying something on line, on her computer. I wasn’t paying any attention to her until I heard her ask, “What’s the difference between Address1 and Address2?”

Before you mentally reply, “But she’s only 15,” remember that teenagers are a highly sought demographic group – after all, brand preferences are sometimes set at an early age. Further, I have heard adults say the same thing (“Do they want a backup address in Address2?”)

Here’s a great example of two address lines without the confusing 1-2 nomenclature:

The website where I got this also does a particularly nice job of sizing the input fields to the length of information that is expected, which is a subtle way of helping users put in the right kind of information.

Robbin Steif

Our founder, Robbin Steif, started LunaMetrics in 2004. She is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Business School, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Digital Analytics Association. Robbin is a winner of a BusinessWomen First award, as well as a Diamond Award for business leadership. In 2017, Robbin sold her company to HS2 Solutions and has since retired from LunaMetrics.

  • Clint

    I agree that the form element sizing is a nice clue to the form’s intended use but I wonder at the wisdom of leaving the second address line blank. By common usage, pain and experience adults have learned to cope with deciphering the second address line – which, unless I am mistaken, is typically for something like an apartment number, suite number, or some other important piece of information that will direct the shipment to the correct place.

    I don’t necessarily have an answer, so I challange you, Robbin, to come up with a concise and effective label for the second address line.

    An effective label along with a form length clue will do much better at indicating the form’s use than either alone.


  • Nah, I have enough challenges already but the next time I am doing user testing that includes an e-commerce form, I’ll definitely propose an option and see what the user says/does. I’ll tell them, “Clint requested this special piece of info.”


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