Published by Leigh Germain at Monday, November 27th 2017 11:43:07 AM under Form
Well designed forms result from an appreciation of the role they play in an organisations interaction with people. Organisations have a responsibility to minimise the burden forms impose when gathering information from people. Form length does not directly correlate to complexity. Many assume that making forms shorter makes them easier to complete. Though shorter forms might be cheaper to produce initially, if the reduction in content results in user confusion, the cost of resolving completion errors form fillers make as a consequence can significantly outweigh any initial savings. In general forms do need to be as short as possible, but never at the expense of clarity and usability.
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.
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.