Forms that Work

Forms that Work

Designing Web Forms for Usability

1st Edition - November 7, 2008
This is the Latest Edition
  • Authors: Steve Krug, Caroline Jarrett, Gerry Gaffney
  • Paperback ISBN: 9781558607101
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080948485

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Description

Forms that Work: Designing Web Forms for Usability clearly explains exactly how to design great forms for the web. The book provides proven and practical advice that will help you avoid pitfalls, and produce forms that are aesthetically pleasing, efficient and cost-effective. It features invaluable design methods, tips, and tricks to help ensure accurate data and satisfied customers. It includes dozens of examples - from nitty-gritty details (label alignment, mandatory fields) to visual designs (creating good grids, use of color). This book isn’t just about colons and choosing the right widgets. It’s about the whole process of making good forms, which has a lot more to do with making sure you’re asking the right questions in a way that your users can answer than it does with whether you use a drop-down list or radio buttons. In an easy-to-read format with lots of examples, the authors present their three-layer model - relationship, conversation, appearance. You need all three for a successful form - a form that looks good, flows well, asks the right questions in the right way, and, most important of all, gets people to fill it out. Liberally illustrated with full-color examples, this book guides readers on how to define requirements, how to write questions that users will understand and want to answer, and how to deal with instructions, progress indicators and errors. This book is essential reading for HCI professionals, web designers, software developers, user interface designers, HCI academics and students, market research professionals, and financial professionals.

Key Features

*Provides proven and practical advice that will help you avoid pitfalls, and produce forms that are aesthetically pleasing, efficient and cost-effective.

*Features invaluable design methods, tips, and tricks to help ensure accurate data and satisfied customers.

*Includes dozens of examples -- from nitty-gritty details (label alignment, mandatory fields) to visual designs (creating good grids, use of color).

*Foreword by Steve Krug, author of the best selling Don't Make Me Think!

Readership

HCI professionals, web designers, software developers, user interface designers, HCI academics and students, market research professionals, financial professionals

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: What is a form?
    What is a form?
    1. Persuading people to answer
    Pick the right moment to ask a question
    Think about relationship question by question
    Follow three rules that that influence response rates
    Think about who will answer your questions
    Summary
    Interlude: Registration forms: rules and suggestions
    2. Gathering the right information
    Find out why you need the information
    Check if your organization already holds the information
    Find out what others ask for
    Summary: only ask for information that you need
    Case study: conference registration form
    3. Making questions easy to answer
    How questions work
    Make it easy to understand the question
    Make it easy to find the answer
    Judging the answer: avoiding privacy errors
    Placing the answer: avoiding category errors
    Summary: writing questions
    Case study: avoiding choice points
    4. Writing instructions
    Writing instructions
    Rewriting instructions in plain language
    Cut the instructions that aren't needed
    Move the instructions to where they are needed
    A before- and after- example
    Summary: Writing instructions
    Interlude: help for forms
    5. Choosing between drop-downs and other controls
    Picking controls for your forms
    How users expect controls to work
    Use these six questions to choose the right control
    Specialist controls may help
    Think about the form as a whole
    Summary: Providing the answer
    Interlude: names and addresses
    6. Making the form flow easily
    Make the form flow easily
    Use progress indicators
    Avoid surprising users with sudden changes
    Be gentle with errors
    Say ‘thanks’ to close the conversation
    Conversational flow – summary
    Interlude: why we hate pop-ups
    7. Taking care of the details
    Taking care of the details
    Where to put the labels compared to the fields
    Colons at the end of labels?
    Sentence or title case for labels?
    How to indicate required fields
    Choosing legible text: fonts and words
    Summary
    Interlude: serif or sans-serif
    8. Making the form look easy
    What makes a form look good
    Make sure users know who you are: logos and branding
    Make your form look tidy with grids
    Make it look organized with grouping
    Avoid two-column forms
    Summary
    Case study: an appearance makeover
    9. Testing (the best bit)
    We're passionate about usability testing
    How to do really good usability testing of forms
    Final message from this book
    Appendices
    Suggestions for further reading
    References
    Acknowledgements

Product details

  • No. of pages: 288
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2008
  • Published: November 7, 2008
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • Paperback ISBN: 9781558607101
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080948485

About the Authors

Steve Krug

Caroline Jarrett

Caroline Jarrett

Affiliations and Expertise

Effortmark Ltd, Leighton Buzzard, UK

Gerry Gaffney

Affiliations and Expertise

Information Design and Proprietary Ltd, Kingston, Australia