By Coriann Gross on August 25 2019 11:08:11
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.
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.
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.
Provide examples of the sorts of answers you are looking for, and where appropriate, provide guidance notes as near as possible to the question they relate to (i.e. in the actual form).