Published by Dominique Stein at Tuesday, November 21st 2017 01:35:49 AM under Form
Customise response boxes to reflect required answers and reduce completion errors. If asking for a persons date of birth, it makes sense to provide a box with the exact number of required digits and an example or guidance note to explain the format that the date should be entered in (DD/MM/YYYY). People from different cultures have different conventions for answering seemingly innocuous questions like this. Users will become frustrated if when you ask for an email address, for example, if the response box only allows for 20 characters. It is similarly annoying to them when it is a long free text box, making the customer question whether they are answering correctly and sufficiently. Providing response boxes that reflect the anticipated answer length and format reassures people that they are filling them in correctly.
The placement of key fields - such as name, address, social security number, account number and barcode - is critical to the data capture process. Key fields should be located near the top of the page whenever possible to account for any shifts during scanning. If the important information is placed at the top, there is less of an offset than at the bottom of the page, reducing the chance of errors in processing.
Make structure clear, and provide navigation to reinforce it. Your form will be divisible into sections so think about the broad groups of questions being asked. Whatever your groups of questions are, make sure they follow the right order and give the groups clear section names. Make the form sections visually distinct by setting the section name in bigger and bolder type, and consider including a contents list on the first page or screen to help people navigate their way through the form. Also make sure that you make good use of features like running headers and footers on every page to remind people what the form is, where they are, and what page number they are on.