August 26, 2019 Form
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?
Make the form sections visually distinct by setting the section name in bigger and bolder type, and consider including a contents list on the first page or screen to help people navigate their way through the form.
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.
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!
In paper forms the specific sub-questions cannot be hidden from the user when they are not relevant to them - but in interactive forms this is relatively easy to do. Use progressive revealing as much as possible in your form design to shield your users from questions they do not need to see.
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