A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Forms

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1.
#37049

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

2.
#37578

91 Trendy Contact And Web Forms For Creative Inspiration

This article showcases modern and interesting contact/web form solutions found around the Internet. I also collected interesting ways how people decide to call their contact forms – get in touch, contact info, say hello, talk to me, say hey, connect, say “hi”, mail us and of course – contact us.

Graveris, Dainis. First Web Designer (2009). Design>Web Design>Forms>User Experience

3.
#33124

Accessible CSS Forms: Using CSS to Create a Two-Column Layout

Websites have become less accessible and more complex over time according to recent studies. Learn how to buck the trend by creating fast, accessible CSS forms that work with modern browsers and gracefully degrade.

Website Optimization (2008). Articles>Web Design>CSS>Forms

4.
#33131

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

5.
#34001

Accessible HTML/XHTML Forms

Forms are often the most tricky aspect of web development for beginners to get their head around, largely because it means stepping out of the comfort zone of one-way information - no longer are you simply presenting information at the person viewing your site, now you are asking for input, for feedback that you have to process in some way. And just as it may be difficult for HTML beginners to understand just how they handle form data, so is it difficult to understand some of the issues relating to accessibility.

Lloyd, Ian. Web Standards Project (2004). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Forms

6.
#35397

(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

7.
#32460

Autopopulating Text Input Fields with JavaScript

Few people will argue against the need to explain to users what they are supposed to enter into text input fields. One common workaround when no label can be displayed is to put some placeholder text in the text field and let that act as the label.This approach works reasonably well, but it burdens the user with having to clear the input before entering their own text, which can lead to frustration and mistakes. An approach that avoids that is using JavaScript to clear the input when it receives focus. Since that won’t work when JavaScript support is missing, JavaScript should be used to insert the placeholder text as well.

Johansson, Roger. 456 Berea Street (2007). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Forms

8.
#25462

Bad Design Can Be So Taxing

When people design Web forms, they often overlook some great sources of professional expertise in the world -- the existence of form design techniques with which nearly all users are familiar. This month, the cranky user looks at form design and management.

Seebach, Peter. IBM (2005). Design>Web Design>Forms

9.
#25499

Better Invoices for Better Business

Invoices that obfuscate information, incorrectly state terms or arrive incomplete can be a massive headache for all parties. These mistakes will only delay the payment process, so it is critical you produce invoices that clearly deliver information your client will need.

Potts, Kevin. List Apart, A (2004). Design>Web Design>Forms>Usability

10.
#30406

Better Web Forms: Redesigning eBay's Registration

Even the smallest adjustments to a page's design, layout, and content can make a major improvement in the overall quality of the page. Taking a fresh look at sections of a site that have been ignored for a while can give you an entirely new perspective. By making small incremental changes and testing them against real world scenarios, we can more easily focus on continuous improvement without going back to square one every time.

Dimon, Garrett. Digital Web Magazine (2007). Design>Web Design>Forms>E Commerce

11.
#20236

Build a "Send to a Friend" Page

In this quick 'n easy tutorial, Short shows how to increase the popularity of your site by building a simple 'Send to Friend' form in HTML and ASP.

Short, Daniel. List Apart, A (2001). Design>Web Design>Forms>ASP

12.
#28486

Build a Shopping Cart Application Using XForms

This tutorial focuses on key aspects of the W3C XForms 1.0 standard to produce a fully functional Web-based shopping cart. With this approach, the reader will get a good start at creating real-world applications with XForms, without having to learn the entire XForms specification.

Speicher, Steve K., Keith Wells, Jan J. Kratky and Kevin Kelly. IBM (2007). Design>Web Design>E Commerce>XForms

13.
#22954

Build Accessible Online Forms

Ask anyone who has had to fix a Website that's littered with accessibility howlers, and top-most in their list of problems encountered will be forms, closely followed by tables. These two topics always seem to present the most difficulties, but they needn't be a problem. For the most part, forms are a problem because the extra accessibility tags are simply not known to the Web designer -- after all, it looks right, it seems to work... what's the problem? Only by switching off the monitor and using a screen-reader can our oblivious Web developer understand the issues.

Lloyd, Ian. SitePoint (2003). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Forms

14.
#33132

Build Accessible Online Forms

Ask anyone who has had to fix a Website that's littered with accessibility howlers, and top-most in their list of problems encountered will be forms, closely followed by tables. These two topics always seem to present the most difficulties, but they needn't be a problem. For the most part, forms are a problem because the extra accessibility tags are simply not known to the Web designer -- after all, it looks right, it seems to work... what's the problem? Only by switching off the monitor and using a screen-reader can our oblivious Web developer understand the issues.

Lloyd, Ian. SitePoint (2003). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Forms

15.
#30410

Building a Bulletproof Contact Form with PHP

The humble contact form: It's the cornerstone of nearly every website, from the humble personal blog right up to the corporate megasite--and a billion small business sites in-between. In the early years of operating a website, we were happy to put our shiny new email address out there for anyone to mailto, but the rise of the spammer has made us justifiably wary of publicizing our contact details--enter the contact form.

Pennell, Matthew. Digital Web Magazine (2007). Design>Web Design>Forms>PHP

16.
#31829

Review: Calling in the Big Guns: Review of Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks

What is likely to win the most converts is the joy Wroblewski takes in designing. This impression becomes clear as you page through the book. He isn’t just an ardent evangelizer, following the rituals of going to conferences selling snake oil. He’s been there in the trenches, just like you; he’s done this a hundred, maybe a thousand times. He’s tested these ideas and provides a framework for you to use from day one. Half the battle in good form design is defending your decisions to stakeholders.

Evans, Will. Boxes and Arrows (2008). Articles>Reviews>Web Design>Forms

17.
#23104

Can XForm Transform the Web?

Today's Web forms are hopelessly tied to the original GUI of NCSA Mosaic for X Windows, circa 1994.

Khare, Rohit. University of California Irvine (2000). Design>Web Design>XML>Forms

18.
#28784

Caroline Jarrett on User Interface Design

Jarrett is one of the authors of User Interface Design and Evaluation, a beginning text for technical communicators moving into user interface design. Jarrett says this book is a perfect start for users looking to add usability basics to their toolbox. She also talks about forms, and how the best forms are ones you barely notice.

Jarrett, Caroline and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2007). Design>User Interface>Interviews>Forms

19.
#20042

Checklist Site-Ontwerp   (PDF)

In het boek zijn vanaf pagina 375 in appendix A een aantal checklists opgenomen die kunnen dienen als controle bij het ontwerp van uw eigen gebruikersvriendelijke pagina's. U kunt deze checklists hier downloaden.

van Rijswijk, Oskar. HandboekUsability.nl. (Dutch) Resources>Usability>Methods>Forms

20.
#33133

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

21.
#27507

Coloring Your Scrollbars with CSS

You really can color your scrollbars and have a change of scenery from the basic gray or other browser default. It just takes a few snippets of CSS markup, which you'll learn how to do in this tutorial.

Kaiser, Shirley E. Website Tips. Design>Web Design>Forms>CSS

22.
#38231

Communication Evaluation and Planning Forms

Sample forms to evaluate and plan course projects, presentations and posters.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Education>Assessment>Forms

23.
#33757

Conflict Resolution in XML - Forms For All

Conflict resolution is required wherever we have multiple concurrent changes to a single information set. In practical terms this applies, for example, to concurrent editing environments, to replicated database instances which are being updated independently, to address-book changes on a PDA that must be merged into a master database that has itself been changed. Resolving these conflicts very often requires human intervention. This paper looks at the use of XML forms of various types to reduce the drudgery involved and to take advantage some of the greatest strengths of XML, using pipelining and easily-understood representations to allow a decision-maker to work with minimal drag.

Nichols, Thomas, Nigel Whitaker and Robin La Fontaine. IDEAlliance (2004). Articles>Information Design>XML>Forms

24.
#22959

Creating Accessible Forms

When we talk about the accessibility of forms, we are usually referring about their accessibility to screen readers and the visually impaired. People with other types of disabilities generally are less affected by 'faulty' forms that are missing some of the HTML accessibility features.

WebAIM (2003). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Forms

25.
#33134

Creating Bulletproof and Easy to Complete Web Forms

Effective form design is a great way to boost conversion rates. Jason Fried and Matthew Linderman share with us the secret of how to create attractive and functional forms.

Fried, Jason and Matthew Linderman. Peachpit Press (2004). Articles>Web Design>Standards>Forms

 
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