Learn about making a plan prior to building, get examples of small things that can really alter the experience.
- [Instructor] Often the form is just one component of a larger site. Just as often, the form is an afterthought and it offers a terrible user experience. In fact, forms have the greatest level of interactivity, unique elements, a real impact on the operations of the organization, and an ability to connect with your end users. Therefore, they should be considered carefully. In order to ensure that the final product is a cohesive, seamless user experience, they must be considered as early as possible. Also, a single form is likely to need as much resources as multiple pages on an informational website. If the form is long or complex, it may need even more. Think about what responses you need from your users when you begin creating your form fields. By starting with the answers you need, you'll be able to determine how to title your form fields, what questions to ask, and which type of fields you actually need your visitors to complete. Regardless of what you're asking your visitors to do, you should always require their basic contact information, such as name and email address so that you can identify individual submissions. Here's some helpful form-specific questions you can ask during the information gathering step prior to building out the form. These can be asked to the project owner or stakeholders. Note that these questions apply regardless of whether or not the form you're designing is completely new or will be replacing one or more existing forms. What are you trying to achieve by designing this form? What are the three most common scenarios for its use? Who is the target audience? How will the new form relate to the organization's goals? What constraints are there, including existing style guides and choices around technology? Where will the form fit within the overall business processes? How will the form relate to other digital or paper-based systems? How will user support be provided? Are there existing forms that will be modified or replaced by the form you're designing? If there are existing forms, try to gather current and previous versions so you can see how it evolved over time. Try to get metrics, at least for the current version. And try to gather any supporting documentation. These would be records of version numbers and changes and user research findings. When designing forms, a good bit of advice is to eliminate everything which does not fulfill a definite and necessary function. Think of a blank screen. It's nothing. Start with nothing. No words, no color, no shape. Every single pixel you add should be necessary to guide the user experience. Then only add what's needed to communicate with the user. And every time someone asks you to put more in, ask them and yourself, will this aid the user and if so, how? If it's going to be solely for the organization's benefit or doesn't tell the user anything new, then don't include it. Be brave, be ruthless, and let's start designing good forms.
- Why form design matters
- Incorporating visual information
- Selecting colors for web forms
- Designating types of inputs
- Grouping and sequencing questions
- Helping with predictive search
- Showing validation and success messages
- Addressing errors
- Designing forms for mobile screens
- Leveraging boxes, buttons, and tabs
- Adding CAPTCHA to forms
- Accessibility considerations