Forms That Work

  • Outline of the Course


    • What makes a good form

    The information requirement

    • What information do you need to meet your business purpose.
    • Error rates on paper forms and why they are so high.
    • Finding out what data your organization already holds and uses.
    • Relative business value and likely error rates on four typical fields on a form.

    Relationships: the users’ reactions to form

    • How people react to forms compared to other pages on a web site or in a package of documentation.
    • How the relationship changes from box to box as the user works through the form.
    • Trust and research on response rates in questionnaires as a basis for thinking about response rates / dropout rates on forms.
    • Creating a psychological profile of your users in terms of their views of the form task compared to other aspects of their work or daily lives.

    Conversation part 1: questions

    • How users answer questions.
    • How reading and legibility affects ability to answer questions.
    • How to choose the appropriate response spaces
    • Understanding the effort required in filling in forms
    • How users find the answers for a form

    Conversation part 2: topics and flow

    • How to split the form up into topics
    • How to create a flow across topics
    • Progress indicators and summary pages
    • Indicating required answers
    • Designing validations
    • Sorting out the instructions at the start of a form

    The appearance of forms: how to make a form look good

    • Visual aspects of typography
    • Using grids to make the form look orderly
    • Chunking – using graphic and other devices to divide the form into manageable areas
    • Where to place the prompts relative to the boxes
    • Creating a prototype form


    • How to do layer checks
    • How to adapt usability testing for forms
    • Preparing and running a usability test


    Learn how to improve forms in three ways:

    • Achieve a better fit between users’ needs and business purpose
    • Create questions that are easier to answer
    • Design forms that look easier to fill in

    Who Should Attend

    People who are currently working with forms, surveys or web applications.