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The $300 Million Button

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.

Spool, Jared M. User Interface Engineering (2009). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Forms


Accessible Forms

This document is concerned with what the user of a Website form "sees" and interacts with. It outlines how you can create forms for the Web that are more accessible and describes the appropriate use of.

Hudson, William. Webusability (2004). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Forms


(Almost) Never Add a Reset Button to a Form

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.

456 Berea Street (2009). Articles>Web Design>Forms>Usability


Colons at the End of Labels?

You are writing captions or labels for fields in forms, for example 'Name' or 'Date of birth'. Should they be finished with a colon, or not?

Light, Ann. Usability News (2006). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Forms


Critiquing the User Interface of a Web Form

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.

CyberText Consulting (2010). Articles>Web Design>Forms>Usability


Designing a Login Form

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.

CyberText Consulting (2008). Articles>Web Design>Forms>Usability


Developing an Online Form

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.

Usability.gov. Articles>Web Design>Forms>Usability


Dysfunctional Forms Syndrome

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).

Streight, Steven. Blogger.com (2004). Articles>Web Design>Forms>Usability


Fashionable Web Forms: Traps and Tips

As a result of this fixation on fashionable forms, it seems, every other week, there is a new article with a title like “20 Fetching Forms” or “How to Jazz Up Your Forms with CSS and JavaScript.” I get excited by the possibility that these articles might show us some way to help people fill out forms faster or make fewer errors. Alas, they frequently do exactly the opposite—promoting techniques that are often unnecessary reinventions of the metaphorical wheel or, worse still, result in forms that are harder for people to fill out. So let’s put some novel form-design approaches under the microscope and see how they fare. In this article, I’m going to examine the following Web form fashions: unconventional label placement; creative required-field indicators; sliders; hidden contextual Help

Kerr, Jessica. UXmatters (2010). Articles>Web Design>Forms>Usability


Forms Usability

Do you have an uneasy feeling that your forms aren't working as well as they should? Or are you simply looking for ways of making them even better? Here are four ideas for better forms.

Jarrett, Caroline. UserFocus (2005). Articles>Web Design>Forms>Usability


Forms vs. Applications

Once an online form goes beyond two screenfulls, it's often a sign that the underlying functionality is better supported by an application, which offers a more interactive user experience.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2005). Articles>Web Design>Forms>Usability


Forms: The Importance of Getting it Right

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!

Lift (2007). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Forms


Getting a Form's Structure Right: Designing Usable Online Email Applications

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!

Kirmani, Afshan. Boxes and Arrows (2008). Articles>Web Design>Forms>Usability


Improve Usability and CTR: Make an Entire List Item Clickable

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.

Glazebrook, Rob L. CSS Newbie (2010). Articles>Web Design>Forms>Usability


Label Placement in Austrian Forms, with Some Lessons for English Forms

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?

Jarrett, Caroline. UXmatters (2010). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Forms


Need Better Data? Pay More Attention to Your Web Forms

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.

Rhind, Graham. UXmatters (2010). Articles>Web Design>Forms>Usability


The Question Protocol: How to Make Sure Every Form Field Is Necessary

A question protocol is a tool for finding out which form fields are required.

Jarrett, Caroline. UXmatters (2010). Articles>Web Design>Forms>Usability

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