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Web Form Design and Beyond – Monday, November 8

Proven Techniques for Seamless Web Form Input (and More!)

Luke Wroblewski

Luke Wroblewski
Founder of LukeW Ideation & Design and author of Web Form Design

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What’s the breakdown of the day?

Morning: Best Form Practices

Luke will start you off with a review of the best practices for web form design. He’ll expand upon the basics from Web Form Design, enhanced by the in-depth research he’s done since the book’s publication. He’ll walk through the current thinking on form structure, layout, inputs, labels, actions, and more.

Then you’ll explore the latest research from Luke’s analytics studies. He'll show where errors lead to drop offs and the optimal positions for the primary-action buttons. You’ll discover the best design options for dealing with international addresses, the most effective placement of help text, and how best to display both error messages and success messages. This won’t be just Luke’s opinion—he’ll show you the studies that back it all up.

Afternoon: Your Questions Answered & The Sexiest Techniques

Are you ready for a game of Stump the Expert? Bring it on with your most challenging web–form questions. Whatever you’ve been dealing with, Luke’s experience at eBay and Yahoo, plus the extensive research he’s done on best practices, will provide a solid answer or a new approach.

Luke will then wrap up the day exploring new ways to get input from your users. He’ll tackle the sexiest parts of designing web forms today. You’ll see the best practices for mobile web forms. If you need your users to sign up for your site, you’ll see the latest techniques for making that first experience a great one. (You’ll even see how to register folks without using forms at all!)

Luke will show you research on new methods for making forms conversational, such as the new “mad lib” style of form layout. He’ll walk you through techniques for gradual engagement, that minimize the arduous portions of signing up, delivering the benefits of your application to your users sooner. You don’t want to miss this deep dive into the latest thinking.

Does your team face these problems?

  • Your forms, driven by backend constraints and business requirements, are not putting the customer experience front and center.
  • Your analytics are telling you that your web forms are killing the experience, with users dropping like flies before they complete your forms.
  • You need more people to get into your service and become engaged, yet they aren’t signing up at the rate you want.
  • You sit in endless meetings debating the nuances of your forms’ fields and labels, never getting to conclusions because nobody on the team has real data.
  • You wonder what you should do differently for mobile.
  • You’re looking at alternative ways to make it easier for people to sign up for your service.

Why web form design

Forms come in all shapes and sizes, from a simple single-field search box to a multi-page tax return. However, as Luke wrote in his bestselling book, Web Form Design, “Forms suck.” Nobody gets excited about filling them out. Nobody tweets about how much fun it is to sign up for a new subscription or answer 10 billion questions when applying for auto insurance.

Move the dial on your web design with a conversational experience that flows naturally.

Yet our businesses live and die by the design of our forms. If we do a great job, folks buy our products and inquire about our services. If we do a poor job, they abandon the form, or worse, enter information that doesn’t help us achieve our goals. Great online experiences require great forms—there’s no getting around that.

Luke will show you how to optimize your conversion and enhance your forms’ usability. You’ll see the latest data on the best design for input fields, label text, alignment, required fields, optional fields, designing for tabbing, international addresses, and more. In addition, this year he has added some truly sexy topics to his workshop, exploring the latest in mobile web apps, rich interaction techniques (like accordion forms and inline validation), and gradual engagement methods.

How will web form design make you a hero?

It’s too bad your users won’t spend the time admiring the awesome job you’ve done on designing your site’s forms. Cleaning up those labels, making everything line up just perfect, and getting the form length exactly right were some of the many things you learned in Luke’s seminar. You made the users’ lives easier. Unfortunately, they won’t notice how masterfully you’ve designed the form because they’ll be focused on the thing they came to the site for, not on the mechanics of filling in data fields. That is exactly what you want.

Making effective web forms will speed up your design process, increase your conversions, and delight your users.

Fortunately, your peers will notice. Other designers will look over your work in awe, as they’ll appreciate how crisp and clean everything is. They’ll marvel at how effectively your inline validation techniques encourage users to enter the right data. You’ll be the envy of design meetings, as you pull out critical data that supports your newfound encyclopedic knowledge of best form design practices.

Yet it will be the business folks and product managers who will need to fight the frequent urge to hoist you up on their shoulders, parading you around the office. Your new forms are making them look good. Conversions are increasing, new business leads are coming in, and the data your forms collect is more accurate and helpful to the business than ever before. Start thinking now what the inscription should be for your Contributor of the Year plaque.

Do you think we’re kidding? You wait. Luke’s workshop is that good! (We have data! It’s the top-rated session every time he gives it.)

What makes this workshop exciting?

It’s hard to imagine just how exciting this full-day workshop on designing web forms could be. Every minute, you’ll learn something new, something you can try right away, and something that will get your creative juices flowing.

“I finally have the ammo I need to get changes made.”

The excitement starts as Luke answers all those long-standing questions your team has batted around. You’ll gain clear directions for your designs, now with the data to back up why these are the best approaches.

Then the workshop gets even better, as Luke shares some of the newest techniques for collecting input from your users. You’ll love his analysis of the effectiveness of accordion forms, his thinking about the conversational approach of “mad lib” forms, and his insights into alternative registration and signup techniques, such as using Facebook Connect and LinkedIn.

Bring an empty notebook. You’ll need the extra space to get all your thoughts and inspirations down. We don’t want you to forget a thing.

Why did we pick Luke?

Luke isn’t just some guy who has built a bunch of forms. Luke is the guy everyone goes to when it comes to getting the users’ input. When writing his seminal book, Web Form Design, he drew upon a ton of original research; his comprehensive experience at Yahoo! and eBay, and the perspectives of the field’s leading designers to show us everything we needed to know about designing effective and engaging web forms.

Nobody knows web forms like Luke does.

Luke is one of those folks we can sit and listen to for hours—and have. He has a fabulous way of making this topic interesting. We love the part where he challenges you to stump him with any question or problem you’ve got with your forms, then he brings up a boatload of examples that get right to the heart of your issue with the perfect answer. It’s a wonder to watch.

What’s the next step?

If Luke’s workshop isn’t quite what you’re looking for, explore the other 7 workshops. There’s also a whole day of Featured Talks with all the UI15 experts.