SpoolCast: Answered! Your Top Questions on Web Form Design with Luke Wroblewski

Sean Carmichael

January 18th, 2011

Duration: 37m | 18.3 MB
Recorded: April, 2010
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Knowing exactly how to design web forms is a struggle. Forms are often a critical step in a user’s journey. It’s easy to frustrate them if your forms aren’t well thought out or well crafted. Luckily, Luke Wroblewski is one of the world’s foremost experts on web form design.

Luke is also the author of the book, Web Form Design. Following up his UIE Virtual Seminar, Answered! Your Top Questions on Web Form Design, Luke addresses the most common questions about web forms.

Here’s an excerpt from the podcast.

“…For a very long time, every single Web form, when you got to the bottom, there was two check boxes. One was checked, one was unchecked, and there was a button that led you to submit. So the first one that was checked by default was, ‘I want to be subscribed to your newsletter. Please send me marketing materials.’

We call this the, ‘Spam check box,’ and that was always default checked. Then there was the second check box underneath it that was, ‘I agree to the terms of service and privacy policy,
which you actually had to check. So the first thing everybody had to do was uncheck the ones for the marketing purposes, check the one for the terms of service, and then click the button.

So it was really an awkward dance. Actually, many, many times, I’ve seen when I’ve looked at analytics on forms that the Terms of Service check box trips people up, and leads to an error
state. People miss it.

It’s usually small. It’s kind of obscure. It’s unclear whether or not you actually have to hit it.

(I’ve) written a book on Web form design, even when I go through some of these forms, I just miss it, and I forget to check it…”

Listen in to the podcast and hear Luke address these questions and more:

  • Does field repetition, for confirmation of data, improve performance or not?
  • Does having help links such as, “Why are we asking you this?” or “More Info”, within forms increase completion rates?
  • What is your opinion on conditionally-required fields?
  • Do you have any data on the “Mad Libs” approach to web forms?
  • Does the size of the field box affect whether people complete the form or not?

How are you making your web forms more usable? Please share your questions or thoughts in our comments section.

One Response to “SpoolCast: Answered! Your Top Questions on Web Form Design with Luke Wroblewski”

  1. Andreas Ringdal Says:

    I disagree regarding password fields.when using passwords stored om the browser uour password will be visible upon form loss

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