July 18, 2019 Form
Well designed forms result from an appreciation of the role they play in an organisations interaction with people. Organisations have a responsibility to minimise the burden forms impose when gathering information from people. Form length does not directly correlate to complexity.
Progressive revealing, when implemented well, progressive revealing gives interactive forms a head start over traditional paper forms. When asked a particular question in a form it may be the case that, depending a users response, they are asked a set of specific sub-questions, or alternatively routed to the next appropriate section of the form.
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).
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 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).
Pre-fill where at all possible. If a person has already filled in a form for your organisation they will be frustrated if they have to fill in the same information again. It is difficult for organisations to get their systems to pre-fill known information but when pre-filling is achieved, customers really feel valued.
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