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Here’s AT&T’s Play Safe and Win contest form which got me confused.

What got me was the * next to the U-Verse details. I don’t have U-Verse, and I normally associate * with mandatory information in forms. So I thought this form is not for me. What has happened is that the designer of this form has conveniently reversed the role of * to make it denote optional items. That goes dead opposite to convention and is confusing.

As you can see in this form, the U-Verse entry is the only one which is optional, so going with the convention of marking a * against every field in the form would have been a bit of a clutter. But, why not just label the optional field – "AT&T U-verse 9 Digit Account(optional)" and put a line on top of the form mentioning that all fields are mandatory unless otherwise mentioned?


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