Things tend to follow a certain order. Take dating as an example. When you meet someone new, first you say hello, then ask them out, talk, eat, or perform an activity together, and maybe walk them home. It’s only after a certain level of familiarity that you can try something like reaching in for a kiss. If you try to perform those steps in reverse order you’ll be considered a creep and probably earn yourself a slap in the face.
Location information on the shipping form also follows a specific intuitive order:
- Zip/Postal Code
- Street Address
A failure to adhere to that order breaks use expectations and comes across as a little weird. Customers are so accustomed to that order that they barely look at the field labels when filling in the values. The general order of arranging geographical data from the largest unit to the smallest one should never be violated.
Keep your state values relevant
You need to update your state values based on the selected country. An American user should be shown American states, a Canadian user should be shown Canadian provinces/territories and so on.
Avoid drop-downs in state and country values
Users are always intimidated by long drop-down lists. A list with more than 10 items is too long. Now imagine an American shopper having to contend with a drop-down list of all the fifty states or someone having to pick out their country from a list of some 200+ nations.
A more elegant solution is using IP geo targeting to automatically detect a shopper’s country. Autocompletion can also be used to suggest country, state, and city values once a customer enters the first few letters.