One of the major elements of web design that often gets overlooked is form design. I will admit that I have been guilty in the past of neglecting this major part of web design. It is only recently since I have been reading the work of Luke Wroblewski that I remembered how important this is. One of the many reasons we don't spend enough time designing forms is because "Forms Suck!". No one likes filling in a form. As a web designer it is our job to make the process as quick as possible for the user.
Here are some of the top form design tips I have picked up:
- Get rid of fields that are unessential
- Keep your labels on top of your input boxes
- Make your submit (action button) button clear and left align with the form
- Get rid of cancel buttons and allow people to save progress on longer forms
- Use input masks to indicate what needs to be entered into the field
- Help text should go under the input field if required
- Save people time and use smart defaults
Paying attention to the details of form design can have a very big impact.
What elements do you think makes for good form design?