October 7, 2019 Form
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!
It is similarly annoying to them when it is a long free text box, making the customer question whether they are answering correctly and sufficiently. Providing response boxes that reflect the anticipated answer length and format reassures people that they are filling them in correctly.
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).
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.
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?