Designing forms for technical specialists by @cjforms
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Designing forms for technical specialists by @cjforms

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Technical specialists and scientists want forms that are easy to use, just like everyone else - even for their technical work. These slides come from a talk I did at EMBL-EBI in 2010

Technical specialists and scientists want forms that are easy to use, just like everyone else - even for their technical work. These slides come from a talk I did at EMBL-EBI in 2010

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  • © Caroline Jarrett, 2008 UPA conference, 2008 Baltimore, MD, USA
  • © Caroline Jarrett, 2008
  • © Caroline Jarrett, 2008
  • CHI 2010 Caroline Jarrett     
  • © Caroline Jarrett, 2008
  • © Caroline Jarrett, 2008
  • © Caroline Jarrett, 2008
  • © Caroline Jarrett, 2008
  • © Caroline Jarrett, 2008
  • © Caroline Jarrett, 2008
  • © Caroline Jarrett, 2008
  • © Caroline Jarrett, 2008
  • © Caroline Jarrett, 2008
  • CHI 2010 Caroline Jarrett     

Designing forms for technical specialists by @cjforms Designing forms for technical specialists by @cjforms Presentation Transcript

  • 1FormsCaroline JarrettDesigning forms fortechnical specialistsand their users
  • Background:the European Bioinformatics InstituteIn 2010, I had the opportunity to give a talk on forms at the EBI,part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).“ EBI provides freely available data from life science experiments, performsbasic research in computational biology and offers an extensive usertraining programme, supporting researchers in academia and industry”.A typical EBI form allows highly-trained scientists to perform difficulttasks on complex data.These slides present some before-and-after suggestions thatprovoked lively discussion. We sometimes agreed that the originalwas better.Thanks again to EBI for a great experience. 2
  • 3Agenda Label placement on formsWhat really matters in forms designAre all the users equally specialist?
  • 4Reading forms is different from using them
  • Orderinga prospectus• User haschosen aprospectus• Postcodelookup forthe address5
  • 6One person’sheat map• Small greendots shownarrow focuson labels andleft end of fields• Red crossesshow clicks
  • 7Back to labels.The ‘narrow focus’ means big jumps for the users’ eyes.
  • 8Mario Penzo’s recommendation:“Place labels above or right-align them”Penzo, M (2006) Label Placement in Formshttp://www.uxmatters.com/MT/archives/000107.php
  • 9Are all these questions equivalent?Where do the answers come from?• Your address• Your city• Company you work for• Number of colleagues• Your address• Your city• Company you work for• noof colleagues• Name• Surname• Age• City
  • 10Easy questions and hardquestions prompt differentpatterns of reading• Users glance atpopulated answers• Users look mostly atthe left end of theanswer space foreasy questions• Users read complexinstructions quitecarefully...• ... provided they are onthe way to their goal
  • A design tip: make sure that the label isunambiguously associated with the field11Before
  • A design tip: make sure that the label isunambiguously associated with the field12After?
  • Easy questions or hard questions? For whom?13
  • 14Agenda Label placement on formsWhat really matters in forms designAre all the users equally specialist?
  • Users care about what they want to achievewith the form; design can be overcome• Most users don’t care about:– Where the labels are positioned– The design and placement of the required field indicator– Whether the label has a colon on the end of it• Most users do care about:– Whether they understand the questions– Whether they can answer the questions– Whether the form will accept their answers– What the organisation will do with their answers15
  • The definition of usability:who is using the product for what purpose16The extent to which a product can be usedby specified users to achieve specified goalswith effectiveness, efficiency and satisfactionin a specified context of use(ISO 9241:11 1998)
  • 17Understand your users’ goals• What does the user get out of it?– What does the user achieve by filling in this form?• How does the user feel about it?– Does the user have a choice?– Does the user trust your organisation?• What is the user expecting?– What does the user expect to tell you?– What do other organisations ask the user in similar circumstances?
  • 18Think about effectiveness, efficiency, context• Effectiveness– What is the user’s definition of ‘success’ with this form?• Efficiency– Will it be difficult to find the answers?– How long can the user spare?– How long will this take?• Context– What else is happening?– What will happen next?– What happened before?
  • What are the tasks for this form?19
  • 20Agenda Label placement on formsWhat really matters in forms designAre all the users equally specialist?
  • This form has new users as well asexperienced users21
  • A glimpse into the FAQ22
  • 23
  • A suggested approach to the preamble:before24
  • A suggested approach to the preamble:after25
  • A bit about me:Caroline Jarrettwww.effortmark.co.ukTwitter @cjformsJarrett and Gaffney (2008)Forms that work:Designing web formsfor usabilityMorgan Kaufmann /ElsevierStone, Jarrett, Woodroffeand Minocha (2005)User interfacedesign andevaluationMorgan Kaufmann /Elsevier26