August 27, 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.
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.
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 examples and guidance and notes at the point of need. Have you ever got half-way through a form and suddenly come to a question that asks you about something you do not understand or have no idea about where to find the answer?
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.
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.