Forms are boring

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From @mrjoe's Bathcamp talk. Some practical and some psychological ways to design better forms.

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  • Hi Joe,

    Fantastic presentation!

    The only item I wonder about talks about marking options fields, not mandatory ones. In my personal usability testing, people expect the red asterisks to tell them which fields they must answer. They assume that anything that does not have an asterisk is optional. I have not done a big honkin' study though... do you know of any research on this?

    Also, I'd love to hear what you think the biggest offenders are in the Nationwide form.

    On a side note, I LOVE the 'I want to punch this website in the face' graphic. You should make t-shirts and posters.

    Tell Giles I said hi!

    Sarah Weise
    @weisesarah
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  • @etidel I've written about it here:
    http://www.cxpartners.co.uk/cxblog/verified_by_visa_and_mastercard_securecode_are_broken_and_need_to_be_fixed/

    ^joe
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  • Hi Jessica,

    Joe here, what I've often seen is that most people fill in a form until you ask them to stop.

    Your article covers it well. if everything is mandatory or mostly mandatory then clearly marking optional makes sense. If the form is mostly optional the business is doing something wrong.

    The mandatory field marker is something we created to fix a problem that didn't exist in paper fields - validation. Validation is a IT thing not a human thing. Marking optional fields is more human!

    joe
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  • I noticed problems with the Visa form as well, but would love to know what you've noticed!
    Cheers!
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  • Hi Joe

    Thanks for uploading this presentation. I imagine it would be fun to see you deliver it in person. :-)

    Can you elaborate on the reasoning behind your recommendation on slide 12 (i.e. always mark optional not mandatory)? I take a more nuanced approach (see http://formulate.com.au/articles/mandatory-versus-optional-fields/) and just the other day I had someone in testing say that they didn't know what questions they had to answer because there were no red asterisks (vast majority of fields were mandatory, so we noted optional questions at the question level, and also explained this at the start of the form).

    Cheers
    Jessica
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Forms are boring

  1. 1. http://www.flickr.com/photos/stovak/2378145902/sizes/z/in/photostream/ forms are boring Joe Leech @mrjoe 1
  2. 2. I want topunch this websitein the face How users people feel about badly design forms 2
  3. 3. There’s a special bit ofthe brain just for forms u 3
  4. 4. 1. Security is important 4
  5. 5. 86% of online shoppers feel more confidentabout entering personal information on sitesusing security indicatorshttp://www.thawte.com/resources/ssl-information-center/inspire-trust-online/index.html[it] has also observed through field-testingthat in part because of the SSL solution, thesite has experienced a 26% higher conversionratehttp://www.verisign.com/ssl/ssl-information-center/ssl-case-studies/credit-karma/index.html Well, they would say that wouldn’t they? 5
  6. 6. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? abstract_id=1430482“ Reassuring people about privacy makes them more, not less, concerned. Maybe it’s worth looking at again? 6
  7. 7. 2. Be honest 7
  8. 8. In the last 24 months have you used Yes any tobacco products? No Such as cigarettes, pipe tobacco, cigars or nicotine replacement products Many people would lie about this question. 8
  9. 9. “ People paid nearly three times as much for their drinks when eyes were displayed rather than a control image. This finding provides the first evidence from a naturalistic setting of the importance of cues of being watched, and hence reputational concerns, on human cooperative behaviourhttp://www.fieldexperiments.com/uploads/ biology%20letters.pdf A picture of a person next to the form may make them more honest 9
  10. 10. In the last 24 months have you used Yes any tobacco products? No Such as cigarettes, pipe tobacco, cigars or nicotine replacement products Adding June Whitfield did work. 10
  11. 11. 3. Don’t do stupid stuff 11
  12. 12. http://www.cxpartners.co.uk/cxblog/html5_seven_predictions_and_tips_for_a_better_ux/ Always mark optional fields, never mark mandatory ones. 12
  13. 13. http://www.cxpartners.co.uk/cxblog/html5_seven_predictions_and_tips_for_a_better_ux/ You need to be pretty good with a mouse to get an accurate answer 13
  14. 14. So many mistakes in one form & yet business critical.http://www.cxpartners.co.uk/cxblog/verified_by_visa_and_mastercard_securecode_are_broken_and_need_to_be_fixed/ 14
  15. 15. Thank youJoe Leech @mrjoe joe.leech@cxpartners.co.uk 07905 334163Q Quora.com/Joe-Leech/answers Read more by me: http://www.cxpartners.co.uk/cxblog/ http://joeleech.net 15

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