UIEtips: Part 2- Web Form Design in the Wild

Jared Spool

April 13th, 2010

Forms are crucial for users to complete many online transactions, ranging from sign-up forms introducing new customers to your site, to checkout forms finalizing your users’ purchases.

In last week’s UIEtips, we re-published the first part of an excellent article written by Luke Wroblewski, author of Web Form Design. Luke discusses tips for improving web forms and impacting user success. (Read last week’s article.)

This week, we look at the second part of the article where Luke shares additional design tips by taking a closer look at the Boingo and British Airways Web sites.

Read the article, Web From Design in the Wild—Part 2.

If you struggle with the design of your web forms, you’ll want take part in our next UIE Virtual Seminar. Luke shares his thoughts and solutions on 6 important aspects of web form design gleaned from hundreds of questions and issues designers presented him. Learn more about Luke’s virtual seminar.

And you can also see Luke in-person at the Web App Masters Tour. We lined up 13 Masters to share their insights and help you dial up your web app design skills. The Tour visits Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Seattle from late April – July. Get more information about the Tour program and dates at www.UIETour.com. Also, if you register by April 19, and use the promotion code TIPS, you’ll pay $795/person.

Do you have any best practices for designing forms? What usability problems have you encountered with your web forms? I’d love to hear about your experiences. Share your thoughts with us and join the conversation below.

One Response to “UIEtips: Part 2- Web Form Design in the Wild”

  1. kelly Says:

    I’m really not convinced about the use of a ‘right side’ button. All applications I create I always go for left hand buttons for the following reasons:-
    – users read left to right so on completion of the last field or line of text, the user’s eyes will always be guided back to the left hand side of the screen
    – there is much less focus on the right side of the screen so these buttons can be missed
    – in some applications where right hand buttons used, there can be a huge gap between the last editable field and the base of the page (where the button sits), leaving the user to search for the next step.
    – If a zoom text user, you would always go back to the left to see if there was another line of text before moving over to the right

    Many sites are using the right hand side button for ‘Next’ ‘Continue’. I still insist that keeping ‘Back’ and ‘Next’ close to each other on the left is the quickest solution for the users.

    One expert who I discussed this with voted for the use of the ‘right hand side’ button as he felt it mirrored the reading of a book – my argument back was that we were online! We can see the whole of the book in front of us and know where the last line of text ends, therefore making this action easily and conventionally easier.

    I’d be interested to know what your opinion is on this?

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