Updating the Address Field Type

** API Users: please review the impact of this update as it could affect form templates that you have coded against.

Since version 1 of IntakeQ, we made use of Google's auto-complete address field in our forms and in the client profile. It offered a quick and convenient way for clients to enter their address with just a few key strokes.

Even though this method works well in most cases, it has created some issues that are hard to overcome, and we have decided to deprecate this feature and use the traditional individual address fields instead, as seen in the image below.

Below, we explain the 3 main reasons that led us to make this decision. Feel free to skip them if all you want to know is how to update your account. 

Problem 1: Inaccurate Addresses

Google's address database has an impressive accuracy rate, but it's not 100% reliable, specially when it comes to rural addresses. We have found that it sometimes will return the wrong postal code, or even the wrong municipality. Sometimes users will not notice this and leave the wrong address on the form. Other times, the user will notice it and correct the text after the address has been selected. In these cases, IntakeQ has to detect that the selected Address ID does not correspond to the Address Text, making it challenging to extract the individual address information (City, State, Postal Code).

We have been able to work around this, but we still encounter a couple of edge cases every month.

Problem 2: Inconsistent Usage

Most clients who fill out your forms will start typing their address and select a suggested option, which works great, but some users who are not used to this type of input will ignore the suggestions and type the whole address. Others will just type their street address and move on to the next item. When this happens, we try to parse the address and extract its individual fields, but this method is not always successful. Later on, if we need the city or zip code to create a claim or superbill, the system may not find them.

An easy solution to this would be to force the user to pick an address from the list, but due to problem #1 above, we need to allow users to enter the address manually in case Google is not accurate.

Problem 3: Conflict with Modern Browsers

The most important problem has surfaced more recently when a very popular browser removed our ability to disable their built-in auto-fill feature for a specific field. The HTML standard gives us an "autocomplete=off" attribute, which is used to tell the browser that we don't want it to show any suggestions for that field. But Google Chrome is now ignoring this attribute and showing its auto-fill suggestions anyway.

This means that if you have the auto-fill feature enabled (it's enabled by default), the browser will detect that you are trying to enter an address, and show you suggestions based on your history. This creates a confusing experience for the user, where 2 suggestion lists show up, as you can see in the image below.

Updating the Address Field in Your Account

We are still going to support the auto-complete feature for the foreseeable future, but we highly encourage you upgrade to the new address field type by following the steps below. 

1. Click here to open the Client Profile Settings (you may be asked to login first);

2. Click on the "Update Address Field Type" button.

This may take a few minutes, as all your forms will be processed. After updating, we recommend that you go through your form templates and preview them to make sure everything still looks good. 

** API Users: please review the impact of this update as it could affect form templates that you have coded against.

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