July 31, 2019 Form
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.
Customise response boxes to reflect required answers and reduce completion errors. If asking for a persons date of birth, it makes sense to provide a box with the exact number of required digits and an example or guidance note to explain the format that the date should be entered in (DD/MM/YYYY).
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.
A light shade of a colour, like blue, across the whole background of a form relieves the eye from the harshness of a stark white background. And if the answer spaces people have to fill in are white, the tinted background both cues them in to where they write, and allows them to visually sense how much they have to fill in.
Use appropriate response mechanisms. Paper forms have the disadvantage that users can miss, or simply disregard, an instruction. For example, only tick/check one box from a list of 15 or 20 options.
Provide checklists. As users complete your form, you may well be asking them to provide supporting information or attach supplementary documents where required. Providing a checklist, often at the beginning or end of a form, helps remind users about all the things they should remember to attach, and any further steps they need to go through.