It's hard to imagine a form that could be simpler: two fields, two buttons, and one link. Yet, it turns out this form was preventing customers from purchasing products from a major e-commerce site, to the tune of $300,000,000 a year. What was even worse: the designers of the site had no clue there was even a problem.
Next time you consider adding a reset button to a form, think it through very carefully first. Does the user really benefit from being able to reset the form? Is being able to reset the form to its initial state so valuable that it is worth the risk of the user losing the data they have entered? Probably not.
A few years ago I was asked to critique the user interface (UI) and layout of a web form for a client. It was a simple form requesting product support. Below is a screen shot of the form (I added the numbered callouts), followed by the comments I submitted to the person who requested my feedback.
Over at Smiley Cat Web Design they’ve put together a showcase of many different login and registration forms. While you’re there, take a look at some of the other showcases listed in the sidebar. They have sets for calendars and date pickers, footers, search boxes, and many more.
Creating an online form can present developers with many challenges. This case study reviews how a paper-based form was taken through the usability engineering process to develop a functional online version. We discuss the steps in planning and research, prototype development, test design, and the usability test results.
Prevent major user annoyance by checking all your web forms: feedback, comment posting, product orders, newsletter sign-up, newsletter opt-in, unsubscribe option, site registration, etc. When a form won't submit, or otherwise fails, after user inputs lots of data, it causes extreme ill will toward your web site, and may be legal violation (UCE laws).
Urgh – it’s what we all think when presented with a form to complete, whether printed or online. What is it about forms that make us feel this way? Maybe, the history of being officious and complicated, a drain on our time, and they often make us feel stressed. As forms represent a business or an organisation, all these feelings are subsequently associated with that organisation – not good for customer relations or reputation!
There are a million websites out there. There are a million email service providers out there. How do you ensure that you gain the right audience to join your service? What are those factors that will help users move ahead and become your loyal customer? Part of the answer has to do with the first step: Registration!
If I wanted my entire list item changed on hover, people would expect that clicking the list item would elicit some sort of response – this is the way navigation works in most corners of the web. But in this case, only those fortunate enough to click the anchor inside the heading tag would get anywhere. Not good.
Contrary to many of my usual forms design recommendations, here was some actual data that labels below their fields might actually work better than labels above or to the left of fields! But would that result depend on the type of form or whether the users were Austrian or from some other county? Or on something else?
Web forms are like the poor relations when it comes to their getting the attention they deserve from the usability community. Usability bibles, when they make mention of Web forms at all, have barely enough to say about them to fill more than a page. Where authors have given Web forms more attention, their appearance and the placement of elements get the lion’s share of the coverage, while the quality of the actual data researchers have gathered hardly gets mentioned. And on those few occasions where authors do provide data from research, they fail to be truly mindful of the problems people from different countries encounter using Web forms.