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Best Practices for Form Design
 

Best Practices for Form Design

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Best Practices for Form Design

Best Practices for Form Design

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    Best Practices for Form Design Best Practices for Form Design Presentation Transcript

    • BEST PRACTICES FOR FORM DESIGN LUKE WROBLEWSKI IA SUMMIT 2007 1
    • Luke Wroblewski Yahoo! Inc. • Senior Principal Designer LukeW Interface Designs • Principal & Founder • Product design & strategy services Author • Site-Seeing: A Visual Approach to Web Usability (Wiley & Sons) • Functioning Form: Web applications, product strategy, & interface design articles Previously • eBay Inc., Lead Designer • University of Illinois, Instructor • NCSA, Senior Designer http://www.lukew.com 2
    • WHY DOES FORM DESIGN MATTER? 3
    • SHOPPING http://www.flickr.com/photos/stitch/187139723/ 4
    • SHOPPING ONLINE 5
    • ACCESS Images from Flickr users katielips, pealco, and *nathan 6
    • ACCESS ONLINE 7
    • DATA INPUT 8
    • DATA INPUT ONLINE 9
    • Why Forms Matter • How customers “talk” to companies online • Commerce ($) • User: Enable purchasing • Business: Maximize sales • Access (membership) • User: Enable participation • Business: Increase customers & grow communities • Engagement • User: Enable information entry & manipulation • Business: Accumulate content & data 10
    • Design Principles • Minimize the pain • No one likes filing in forms • Smart defaults, inline validation, forgiving inputs • Illuminate a path to completion • Consider the context • Familiar vs. foreign • Frequently used vs. rarely used • Ensure consistent communication • Errors, Help, Success • Single voice despite many stakeholders 11
    • Analyzing Performance • Usability Testing Errors, issues, assists, completion rates, time spent per • task, satisfaction scores • Eye Tracking Completion times, fixations, saccades • • Customer Support Top problems, number of incidents • • Best Practices Common solutions, unique approaches • • Site Tracking Completion rates, entry points, exit points, elements • utilized, data entered 12
    • Design Patterns Visual Communication Information Affordances + Engagement Interaction Disclosure + Response Feedback Verification 13
    • INFORMATION 14
    • Information • Layout • Label positioning • Content groupings • Input Affordances • Formats, required fields • Actions • Primary & secondary • Help & Tips • Visual Hierarchy 15
    • Top Aligned Labels • When data being collected is familiar • Minimize time to completion • Require more vertical space • Spacing or contrast is vital to enable efficient scanning • Flexibility for localization and complex inputs 16
    • Top-aligned Labels 17
    • Right Aligned Labels • Clear association between label and field • Requires less vertical space • More difficult to just scan labels due to left rag • Fast completion times 18
    • Right-aligned labels 19
    • Left Aligned Labels • When data required is unfamiliar • Enables label scanning • Less clear association between label and field • Requires less vertical space • Changing label length may impair layout 20
    • Left-aligned labels 21
    • Eye-tracking Data • July 2006 study by Matteo Penzo • Left-aligned labels • Easily associated labels with the proper input fields • Excessive distances between labels inputs forced users to take more time • Right-aligned labels • Reduced overall number of fixations by nearly half • Form completion times were cut nearly in half • Top-aligned labels • Permitted users to capture both labels & inputs with a single eye movement’ • Fastest completion times 22
    • • For reduced completion times & familiar data input: top aligned BEST PRACTICE • When vertical screen space is a constraint: right aligned • For unfamiliar, or advanced data entry: left aligned 23
    • Required Form Fields • Indication of required fields is most useful when • There are lots of fields • But very few are required • Enables users to scan form to see what needs to be filled in • Indication of optional fields is most useful when • Very few fields are optional • Neither is realy useful when • All fields are required 24
    • All fields required 25
    • All fields required 26
    • Most fields required 27
    • Few fields optional 28
    • 29
    • 30
    • • Try to avoid optional fields • If most fields are required: indicate optional fields BEST PRACTICE • If most fields are optional: indicate required fields • Text is best, but * often works for required fields • Associate indicators with labels 31
    • Field Lengths • Field lengths can provide valuable affordances • Appropriate field lengths provide enough space for inputs • Random field lengths may add visual noise to a form 32
    • 33
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    • 35
    • • When possible, use field length as an affordance BEST PRACTICE • Otherwise consider a consistent length that provides enough room for inputs 36
    • Content Grouping • Content relationships provide a structured way to organize a form • Groupings provide • A way to scan information required at a high level • A sense of how information within a form is related 37
    • Lots of content grouping 38
    • Excessive visual noise 39
    • Minimum amount necessary 40
    • 41
    • Minimum amount necessary 42
    • 43
    • • Use relevant content groupings to organize forms BEST PRACTICE • Use the minimum amount of visual elements necessary to communicate useful relationships 44
    • Actions • Not all form actions are equal • Reset, Cancel, & Go Back are secondary actions: rarely need to be used (if at all) • Save, Continue, & Submit are primary actions: directly responsible for form completion • The visual presentation of actions should match their importance 45
    • 46
    • 47
    • • Avoid secondary actions if possible BEST PRACTICE • Otherwise, ensure a clear visual distinction between primary & secondary actions 48
    • Help & Tips • Help & Tips are useful when: Asking for unfamiliar data • Users may question why data is being requested • There are recommended ways of providing data • Certain data requests are optional • • However, Help & Tips can quickly overwhelm a form if overused • In these cases, you may want to consider a dynamic solution • Automatic inline exposure • User activated inline exposure • User activated section exposure 49
    • Help Text 50
    • Lots of Help/Tips 51
    • 52
    • Automatic inline exposure 53
    • Automatic inline exposure 54
    • User-activated inline exposure 55
    • User-activated inline exposure 56
    • User-activated section exposure 57
    • • Minimize the amount of help & tips required to fill out a form • Help visible and adjacent to a data BEST PRACTICE request is most useful • When lots of unfamiliar data is being requested, consider using a dynamic help system 58
    • INTERACTION 59
    • Interaction • Path to Completion • “Tabbing” • Progressive Disclosure • Exposing dependencies 60
    • Path to Completion • Primary goal for every form is completion • Every input requires consideration & action • Remove all unnecessary data requests • Enable flexible data input • Provide a clear path • Enable smart defaults 61
    • Remove Unnecessary Inputs 62
    • Flexible Data Input (555) 123-4444 555-123-4444 555 123 4444 555.123.4444 5551234444 63
    • Smart Defaults 64
    • Path to Completion 65
    • Clear Path to Completion 66
    • Path to completion 67
    • • Remove all unnecessary data requests • Enable smart defaults BEST PRACTICE • Employ flexible data entry • Illuminate a clear path to completion • For long forms, show progress & save 68
    • Tabbing • Many users interact with a form by “tabbing” between fields • Proper HTML markup can ensure tabbing works as expected • Multi-column form layouts may conflict with expected tabbing behavior 69
    • 70
    • • Remember to account for tabbing behavior • Use the tabindex BEST PRACTICE attribute to control tabbing order • Consider tabbing expectations when laying out forms 71
    • Progressive Disclosure • Not all users require all available options all the time • Progressive disclosure provides additional options when appropriate • Advanced options • Gradual engagement 72
    • Exposing Options 73
    • Exposing Options 74
    • Dialog 75
    • Progressive Disclosure 76
    • Gradual Engagement 77
    • 78
    • • Map progressive disclosure to prioritized user needs BEST PRACTICE • Most effective when user-initiated • Maintain a consistent approach 79
    • Selection Dependent Inputs • Sometimes an initial data input requires or enables additional inputs • More options become available because of an initial input • Further clarification required due to initial input 80
    • Selection Dependent Inputs 81
    • Section Selectors Page Level Section Tabs Expose Below Expose Within Section Finger Tabs 82
    • Inactive Until Selected Exposed & Grouped 83
    • Exposing Dependent Inputs • Page Level • Requires additional step • Section Tabs • Often go unnoticed • Require smart defaults • Finger Section Tabs • Follow path to completion scan line • Section Selectors • Effectively Group information • Hide some options • Expose Below & Expose Within • Potential for confusion • Inactive Until Selected & Exposed within Groups • Association between primary selection is impaired 84
    • • Maintain clear relationship between initial selection options BEST PRACTICE • Clearly associate additional inputs with their trigger • Avoid “jumping” that disassociates initial selection options 85
    • FEEDBACK 86
    • Feedback • Inline validation • Assistance • Errors • Indication & Resolution • Progress • Indication • Success • Verification 87
    • Inline Validation • Provide direct feedback as data is entered • Validate inputs • Suggest valid inputs • Help users stay within limits 88
    • Password Validation 89
    • Unique User Name Validation 90
    • Valid Input Suggestions 91
    • Maximum Character Count 92
    • • Use inline validation for inputs that have potentially high error BEST PRACTICE rates • Use suggested inputs to disambiguate • Communicate limits 93
    • Errors • Errors are used to ensure all required data is provided and valid • Clear labels, affordances, help/tips & validation can help reduce errors • But some errors may still occur • Provide clear resolution in as few steps as possible 94
    • Error Messaging 95
    • Short Forms: too much? 96
    • Short Forms 97
    • Short Forms 98
    • 99
    • • Clearly communicate an error has occurred: top placement, visual contrast • Provide actionable BEST PRACTICE remedies to correct errors • Associate responsible fields with primary error message • “Double” the visual language where errors have occurred 100
    • Progress • Sometimes actions require some time to process • Form submission • Data calculations • Uploads • Provide feedback when an action is in progress 101
    • Disable Submit Button 102
    • • Provide indication of tasks in progress BEST PRACTICE • Disable “submit” button after user clicks it to avoid duplicate submissions 103
    • Success • After successful form completion confirm data input in context • On updated page • On revised form • Provide feedback via • Message (removable) • Animated Indicator 104
    • 105
    • 106
    • Animated Indication 107
    • • Clearly communicate a data submission has been successful BEST PRACTICE • Provide feedback in context of data submitted 108
    • Additional Tips • Avoid changing inputs provided by users • With later inputs • After an error has occurred • Let users know if difficult to obtain information is required prior to sending them to a form 109
    • Accessibility & Mark-up • Use <label> tags to associate labels with inputs • Properly read by screen readers • Most browsers treat text with <label> tags as clickable: larger actions • Use the tabindex attribute to provide a “tabbing” path • Provides control over tabbing order • Enables forms to be navigated by keyboard • Consider the accesskey attribute for additional keyboard support • Direct access to associated input fields • Consider <fieldset> to group related form fields 110
    • Web Form Creation Tools • Wufoo • http://www.wufoo.com • Form Assembly • http://www.formassembly.com • icebrrg • http://www.icebrrg.com 111
    • For more information… • Functioning Form • www.lukew.com/ff/ • Site-Seeing: A Visual Approach to Web Usability • Wiley & Sons • Drop me a note • luke@lukew.com 112