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Patterns

Ask users for…

Addresses

Use: Deployed
Follow this pattern to ask a user for an address.

Usage

When to use this pattern

  • Asking for an address. For example, the address for a military base, home, or mailing address.

Examples

Single address

An example of a single address form.
Example of a form collecting a single address.

Mailing address

An example of a mailing address form.
Example of a form collecting a mailing address.

Home address

An example of a home address form.
Example of a form collecting a home address.

Address confirmation

An Alert in a form flow that warns the user that the address they entered could not be found in U.S. Postal Service data.
Example of an alert warning a user that the address they entered does not match U.S. Postal service data and providing a way for them to correct their address or use the corrected address from the Postal service.

Prefill information

An information box in a form flow that tells the user that some information has been prefilled from their VA.gov profile.
Example of an informational message informing a user that information from their profile has been prefilled into the form below.

How to design and build

Layout details

Single address

Here is the content structure for asking a user for a single address:

  • Checkbox for military address (if applicable)
  • Additional info component (if applicable)
  • Country select box
  • Street address text input
  • Street address line 2 text input
  • Street address line 3 text input (if applicable)
  • City text input
  • State/Province/Region select box
  • Postal code text input

Multiple addresses

Here is the content structure for asking a user for multiple addresses:

  • Header - Mailing or Home Address
  • Relevant information regarding this form and the user’s address (if applicable)
  • Checkbox for military address (if applicable)
  • Additional info component (if applicable)
  • Country select box
  • Street address text input
  • Street address line 2 text input
  • Street address line 3 text input (if applicable)
  • City text input
  • State/Province/Region select box
  • Postal code text input
  • Radio button component for mailing address same as home address (this is on mailing address page only)

How this pattern works

Single address

  • If required, include a checkbox for United States military base address. Under the additional information component, there should be an explanation: U.S. military bases are considered a domestic address and a part of the United States. When the checkbox is checked, the country select box becomes disabled.
  • If asking for only one address on a form, be clear with the user which address (mailing or home) you’re asking for. We recommend asking for a mailing address if you need to only ask for one address.
  • Street address Line 3 can be omitted. Sometimes partner databases do not support a third line of address.

Multiple addresses: Mailing and Home addresses

Follow this guidance when asking for both mailing and home addresses. In some forms, we ask for both addresses because some veterans live in different homes depending on the time of year.

  • The mailing address always comes before home address. We ask for a mailing address before home address because the majority of VA’s correspondence is over mail.
  • On the mailing address form, ask users if the home address is the same as the mailing address. If the user chooses “Yes”, they can skip the home address form.
  • Indicate to users whether an update in this form will update their VA.gov profile. If an address addition or change will not update the user’s VA.gov profile then use the text “Any updates you make here to your address will only apply to this application.” Refer to the Help users to know how their information is updated pattern for information on how to communicate that an update will be reflected in their profile.

Address confirmation

  • Check addresses against USPS data. Confirm the user’s address against U.S. Postal Service data and warn the user with a warning Alert when the address they entered is potentially incorrect.
  • Provide a way to edit or use the potentially incorrect address. Provide a link to edit the address so that a user can correct any potential errors. Also provide a way for the user to override the address check and continue with the address they provided.

Prefill information

  • Inform users when prefilling information from VA.gov profile. When information is pre-populated into a form we notify users with the message: “We’ve prefilled some of your information from your account. If you need to correct anything, you can edit the form fields below.” Use of this message should be combined with informing the user whether or not a change made here will be reflected in their profile as well (see “Indicate to users whether an update in this form will update their VA.gov profile” above)

Content considerations

Error message templates for addresses

When a user doesn’t enter a street address:

Say ‘Please enter a street address’

When a user doesn’t enter a city:

Say ‘Please enter a city’

When a user doesn’t enter a state:

Say ‘Please enter a state’

When a user doesn’t enter a postal code:

Say ‘Please enter a postal code’

When a postal code is entered incorrectly:

Say ‘Please enter a valid 5- or 9-digit postal code (dashes allowed)’

When a postal code can’t be correct:

Say ‘Please provide a valid postal code’

When a user doesn’t select a state or province:

Say ‘Please select a state or province’

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Last updated: Dec 08, 2022