By Deeanna Caldwell on May 13 2019 01:52:17
Its even more infuriating if the question says something like. See our Guidance notes, page 6, paragraph 2. When filling in your forms people want the information they need there and then. Put yourself in the form users position and think about which questions they might have a problem with.
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.
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.
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.