Forms that Work: Designing Web Forms for Usability

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Each example illustrates a different principle of form usability. Many designers attempt to conserve space in a form by including a hint or description of the required information within the field itself. This original research article from ConversionXL digs into the usability of multi-column and single-column forms, focusing on completion time.


When designing forms for mobile, keeping it simple is the name of the game. Should it really take 11 interactions to enter a phone number? This article will make you think twice about splitting your inputs. Mobile forms present many unique challenges, but innovations have quickly developed to make forms on mobile devices much more manageable. Are you aware of them and are you doing all you can to make sure they are implemented correctly? One is workable, but presents some challenges.

The other one is easy and enjoyable to use. Amazingly only a few small enhancements set the forms apart.

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When should you use a locked drop down, or when would it be better to use predictive search? Should you remove, combine, or improvise? When should you keep everything on one page, or when would it be appropriate to break the form into multiple pages? Filled with best practices and great examples, this article provides a great foundation for creating a seamless mobile form UX.

An Interview With Caroline Jarrett - Usability Geek

This post gives you real examples on how to improve your mobile forms using HTML5. Examples include code and links to API and jQuery resources. These tweaks will help you optimize your current desktop forms for mobile. Campaign Monitor breaks down how even with a simple email subscribe form, there are important things you can do to optimize for mobile. This post takes on some of the more challenging aspects of designing a mobile form, giving insight into multi-step forms, validation issues, and auto-saving. Conversion funnels on a per-field basis? The author explains the potential downsides of this setup and how to mitigate them.

Formstack is one of the top online form builders, and they give three simple tests you should run on your forms. One suggestion we particularly like: cut your lead generation form in half and test the impact on leads. These Formstack guys really get around. Optimizely featured this guest post from a conversion optimization specialist at Formstack, which focuses on three key elements to test — along with ideas on what to change.

  • Forms That Work: Designing Web Forms for Usability.
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Do we need to say anything else? Clear examples from his work at Yahoo! Your users are going to make mistakes on your form. Count on it.

ISBN 13: 9781558607101

Plan for it. Learn how to anticipate, prevent, and handle user errors.

This course for all skill levels covers everything from form structure to input masks to minimizing the use of forms altogether by using alternative data collection techniques. As usual, his content is noteworthy not only because of his experience, but also because the recommendations are based on analytics, usability studies, eye tracking, and surveys. Or just browse their collection of beautiful and customizable themes; they even let you download the CSS. Creative design can sometimes interfere with usability; other times, it can enhance it. We especially like the simple but attractive design for a feedback form to let a user indicate whether their feedback is positive or negative.

Maybe the traditional white form suits your company just fine. The included gallery of attractive form designs should serve as inspiration if you want to try something new.

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One of the challenges of responsive design is to making sure that elements look right and work right on any size screen. These 20 sites have figured out how to balance beauty and functionality in a responsive form. From the minimalist to the ornate, these 25 examples will get your creative gears turning. Me does away with inconsistent browser form defaults and gives designers and developers control over the look of their forms. Uni-form standardizes form markup and styles it with CSS, narrowing it down to two layout options to choose from.

If you must add a validation rule, stick with just one. When forms are full of text even the most entertaining questions in the world , many people will subconsciously think they might take more time to complete. Sure, the first one may be more conversational, but the second version is much simpler. The second version is shorter, and as a result, less intimidating. Why should they take time out of their busy days to signup for your newsletter, product, or service? Do be authentic and put yourself in their shoes. The same goes for form submissions. Do you have any form usability tips that we missed? Can you show us an example of an amazing web form?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments, or tweet with us FormAssembly. I agree with this article. There are so many forms out there with tons of obstacles for the user. It should be simple! By using this website you are agreeing to FormAssembly tracking your activity. FormAssembly does not sell or share personal information with third party organizations. Once you submit this form, you'll receive an email with a link to access your content! Contact Information. Keep questions short and concise When forms are full of text even the most entertaining questions in the world , many people will subconsciously think they might take more time to complete.

Which one do you think is most user-friendly?

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Or… Sure, the first one may be more conversational, but the second version is much simpler. What do you think? Hannah Wright. She enjoys hiking mountains with her husband and reading. Hannah Wright on July 28, at pm. Search for:.