I just stumbled upon this nice article by Debré Barrett regarding Website forms and i thought, ‘Boy, if i had a dollar for every time i encounter a long, repetitive, boring, badly done form!’. If you own a job finding website, you probably will escape the wrath of frustrated users since lets face it, if i really want a job i will fill every form i find my way in the faint hope that one of them lands me a job.  If however you own an e-commere website, its a different story. Do your forms badly and you are bound to lose money, a lot of money.

Debre cites 3 do’s of good form design which i think sum it all up very well:

  1. Delete, delete, delete
    Do some serious soul searching here. Do you really need that field in your form? If not, DELETE IT! In this Era of content management systems which come with already selected default form fields, it wouldn’t hurt to filter out these fields based on your website’s needs.

    The shorter the form, the higher the chances that the user will fill it all the way through. That’s what you want at the end of the day right?

  2. Show Merchandise before demanding money
    This sounds like common sense, right? It’s a wonder how so many e-commerce sites forget this simple nugget. The first page of your form should always be a confirmation page for the goods or service that i have bought, and how much (no hidden costs please!) i should expect to pay at the end of it all.
  3. Tell people how long the form is
    Please be kind enough to let me know how many pages i should expect to cover before the form filling process is over. If you can, please avoid the pagenation. In this world of Jquery and Mootools, its very possible to make filling of forms a lesser mortification than it used to be before.

You have a great website for your business. Don’t let this one little but non-trivial element ruin your efforts.

Your can read the full post here.


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