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    • 2. Label to the left of the field, and flush left


      Option 2: Label to the left of the field, and flush left



      • Form is shorter compared to having labels above fields.
      • Label length can be longer than field length.
      • Labels are easier to scan, as they are not separated by fields.
      • Label is visible even as its corresponding field is being filled out, so the user doesn’t have to remember what the label was, and can cope with interruptions.
      • At any time, users can compare their answers to the labels.
      • Easy to implement well.
      • In HTML, does not require the use of the placeholder attribute as a proxy for label, helping maintain accessibility.
      • It’s easy for users to see where they have to enter information.
      • Works regardless of field type (e.g. text box, radio buttons, check boxes or drop downs).
      • Works with touch interfaces.


      • On small screens, when focus is in-field, label may not be visible (because of zoom).
      • User is unlikely to be able to see the label and the field within one glance.
      • When form is translated into other languages, labels may no longer fit into allocated space.
      • Form is wider compared to having labels above fields.
      • Labels may be far away from their corresponding fields, so it can be hard to see which goes with which (zebra striping can help to minimise this issue).
  • Question to ask about the form How answer impacts label positioning     Will this form be filled out on small screens? Best choice for small screens is label above field.  Will the form be accessed via touch? Avoid labels inside fields or as tool tips.  Are the labels mostly short? Labels beside fields works best when labels are short.  Are the labels full questions (e.g. “When do you want your new policy to start?”)? With full questions, labels can be either above or beside the field, but should be flush left.  Will the form be translated? Labels above fields gives the most flexibility for translation.  What types of fields does the form have? If there are fields other than text boxes, you can’t put labels inside fields. Labels as tool tips is also a poor choice.  What resources are available for development? Labels above fields take the least development time, closely followed by labels beside fields.  At what skill level are the developers? Labels inside fields or as tool tips should only be attempted by expert developers with plenty of time.

  • Left Aligned


    Left-aligned forms are the slowest of the three to complete because of the number of eye fixations they require to parse. However, for forms with lots of optional fields or unfamiliar data (like preferences dialogs or advanced settings), they allow users to effectively scan labels. In fact, if you want users to slow down and consider each input in a form more carefully, left-aligned labels are a good way to go.

  • “Design is not style. It’s not about giving shape to the shell and not giving a damn about the guts. Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need, and beauty to produce something that the world didn’t know it was missing.”—Paola Antonelli, senior curator of the Museum of Modern Art

  • Every SaaS vendor knows the “big wins”, the top 3 missing features that are deal-breakers for many leads. We called them “embarrassing feature gaps”.
  • The kid in the candy store problem. If you ask your customers, they would like almost everything from your backlog of feature ideas. You can’t act upon this feedback until your customer has prioritised. Un-prioritised lists of “wants” are almost worthless the product manager. We built a system to encourage customers to prioritise
  • filter out ideas from trial accounts and churned users, and consider those segments separately

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  • On the walls, where they can be seen. I am a professional photographer, but most of what goes on the walls are snapshots of friends and family, or old family pictures.
    The snapshots mostly go on a metal wall with tiny magnets, or into a big old wooden frame, with pins.
    The old family pictures are framed, covering a bedroom wall.
    The big „good“ prints are framed and hang from gallery rails.
    In our last place we had a long hallway and had a line of photos in small frames, too.

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  • Before we end, imagine for a minute that you’re at the end of your career. You’re on your deathbed looking back.
  • What are some things you might regret?

    Perhaps you drifted into whatever seemed like the easiest option, or did what your parents did.

    Maybe you even made a lot of money doing something you were interested in, and had a nice house and car. But you still wonder: what was it all for?

    Now, what are some things you won’t regret?

  • You won’t regret exploring lots of options to find what works, rather than settling too early. You won’t regret building valuable skills that give you better options.

    Most of all, you won’t regret being ambitious and tackling some of the world’s most pressing problems.

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    • You can make a flexible plan by using the A/B/Z plan:

      • Plan A is the top option you’d like to pursue. If you’re relatively confident about what you want to do in the medium-term, focus on that. If you’re more uncertain, look to try out several options. If you’re very uncertain, just build flexible career capital.
      • Plan Bs are the nearby alternatives you can switch into if Plan A doesn’t quite go as intended.
      • Plan Z is your temporary fallback in case everything goes wrong. Having a Plan Z helps you take bigger risks.
  • If you’re relatively confident of the best longer-term option (5-15 years), then focus on pursuing it.
  • If you’re unsure about the best longer-term option, then plan how you can try out your top 2-4 options over a couple of years, plus a wildcard.

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  • to a large degree your abilities are built rather than “discovered”. Darwin, Lincoln, JK Rowling and Oprah all failed early in their career, then went on to completely dominate their fields.
    • Research shows that it’s really hard to work out what you’re going to be good at ahead of time, especially through self-reflection.
    • Instead, go investigate. After an initial cut down of your options, go learn more and then try them out.
    • Minimize the costs of trying out your options by taking advantage of your best opportunities to explore (e.g. the years between undergrad and grad study), trying things in the best order (e.g. corporate sector before non-profit sector), and finding cheap ways to test your options (e.g. doing a freelance project before you go full time).
    • When you need to make a final decision, use a systematic process.
    • Keep adapting your plan over time. Think like a scientist investigating a hypothesis.
  • It’s hard to train our gut instinct when: (i) the results of our decisions take a long time to arrive (ii) we have few opportunities to practice, or (iii) the situation keeps changing. This is exactly the situation with career choices: we only make a couple of major career decisions in our life, it takes years to see the results, and the job market keeps changing.

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  • work at a non-profit straight out of university.1 However, she quickly hit a ceiling in terms of how far she could advance.

    We’ve asked leaders of effective non-profits whether it makes sense to start your career in the non-profit sector. They said you can usually advance faster in the corporate sector because you get better training, and that’s where they hire from.

  • best ways to gain career capital early in your career include
  • Working in any organization which has, or with any people who have, a reputation for high performance e.g. top consultancy, technology or financial firms, or any work with a great mentor or team

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  • Jeff can live on about two times as much as he would have earned in the non-profit sector, and still donate enough to fund the salaries of about two non-profit CEOs
    • We think earning to give is an option worth considering when:

      • You’re a good fit for a higher earning option. Don’t become a consultant if you’d hate it
  • You want to gain skills in a higher earning option (for use in more direct work later on)

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  • To have a big social impact with your career, you’ll want to work on the most pressing problems.

  • Big in scale: What’s the magnitude of this problem? How much does it affect people’s lives today? How much effect will solving it have in the long-run?
  • Neglected: How many people and resources are already dedicated to tackling this problem? How well allocated are the resources that are currently being dedicated to the problem? Are there good reasons why markets or governments aren’t already making progress this problem?

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