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Other titles in the Morgan Kaufmann Series in Interactive Technologies series:
Forms That Work: Designing Web Forms for Usability (Interactive Technologies)by Caroline Jarrett
Synopses & Reviews
Forms are everywhere on the web – for registration and communicating, for commerce and government. Good forms make for happier customers, better data, and reduced support costs. Bad forms fill your organization’s databases with inaccuracies and duplicates and can cause loss of potential consumers.
Designing good forms is trickier than people think. Jarrett and Gaffney come to the rescue with Designing Forms that Work, clearly explaining exactly how to design great forms for the web. Liberally illustrated with full-color examples, it guides readers on how to define requirements, how to write questions that users will understand and want to answer, and how to deal with instructions, progress indicators and errors.
*Provides proven and practical advice that will help you avoid pitfalls, and produce forms that are aesthetically pleasing, efficient and cost-effective.
*Features invaluable design methods, tips, and tricks to help ensure accurate data and satisfied customers.
*Includes dozens of examples — from nitty-gritty details (label alignment, mandatory fields) to visual designs (creating good grids, use of color).
*Foreword by Steve Krug, author of the best selling Don't Make Me Think!
If offered a choice, most people would avoid using forms. For most of us that choice isn't available. We use forms countless times daily - both at work and at home. The hassles and frustration involved with errors messages, unnecessary required fields, and reentering information can make or break a users perception of a company (both from the support and supply side). Usable forms are more important than ever, with the unprecedented number of online transactions, online and form based business to business and business to customer tracking and communication.
Creating Forms that works focuses on nothing but forms and how to design them effectively and efficiently. From gathering for the right information, to making questions easy to answer, to layout, to usability testing — this book covers all the fundamentals of form design. And in the process aids in making all of our lives a little easier.
* Presents an invaluable methodology for creating usable, efficient, and accurate forms
* Offers self-contained, easy to reference chapters for quick design guidance
* Features case studies that show readers real-life examples of best and worst practices of form design
Table of Contents
Introduction: What is a form?
What is a form?
1. Persuading people to answer
Pick the right moment to ask a question
Think about relationship question by question
Follow three rules that that influence response rates
Think about who will answer your questions
Interlude: Registration forms: rules and suggestions
2. Gathering the right information
Find out why you need the information
Check if your organization already holds the information
Find out what others ask for
Summary: only ask for information that you need
Case study: conference registration form
3. Making questions easy to answer
How questions work
Make it easy to understand the question
Make it easy to find the answer
Judging the answer: avoiding privacy errors
Placing the answer: avoiding category errors
Summary: writing questions
Case study: avoiding choice points
4. Writing instructions
Rewriting instructions in plain language
Cut the instructions that aren't needed
Move the instructions to where they are needed
A before- and after- example
Summary: Writing instructions
Interlude: help for forms
5. Choosing between drop-downs and other controls
Picking controls for your forms
How users expect controls to work
Use these six questions to choose the right control
Specialist controls may help
Think about the form as a whole
Summary: Providing the answer
Interlude: names and addresses
6. Making the form flow easily
Make the form flow easily
Use progress indicators
Avoid surprising users with sudden changes
Be gentle with errors
Say ‘thanks’ to close the conversation
Conversational flow – summary
Interlude: why we hate pop-ups
7. Taking care of the details
Taking care of the details
Where to put the labels compared to the fields
Colons at the end of labels?
Sentence or title case for labels?
How to indicate required fields
Choosing legible text: fonts and words
Interlude: serif or sans-serif
8. Making the form look easy
What makes a form look good
Make sure users know who you are: logos and branding
Make your form look tidy with grids
Make it look organized with grouping
Avoid two-column forms
Case study: an appearance makeover
9. Testing (the best bit)
We're passionate about usability testing
How to do really good usability testing of forms
Final message from this book
Suggestions for further reading
What Our Readers Are Saying
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