September 11, 2019 Form
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).
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).
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.
When designing forms make sure the response mechanism is appropriate to each question. Having gone to all the trouble of filling in your form, the least you can do is provide users with information about what happens next. Customer communication is key, and since you have made the form so easy to fill in and return, processing it could also be a breeze!
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.
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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