“Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks” by Luke Wroblewski; Rosenfeld Media

Web forms are the major way that people interact with websites, online companies, and web applications. The difference between a good form and a bad form can lead to satisfied and engaged customers, or alternatively customer frustration and a significant loss of revenue. No-one enjoys filling in forms, and what may seem like trivial design changes can have a massive impact on whether customers are willing to complete it. In turn this determines whether you will make sales, develop relationships with customers, and enable users to complete the tasks that they want to complete.

This book draws on research studies and insights from leading designers to provide a thorough guide to the issues and best practices around form design. Chapters include an introduction to form design, what to include, how to present a clear path to completion, labels and layout, choosing form elements, communicating and presenting actions, providing help, indicating errors and success, validation, unnecessary and extra inputs, choices and selection-dependent inputs, methods of engagement, and building forms.

I found this book to be clear and easy to read with many useful examples. I found the personal experience provided by other designers in the field to be particularly interesting. This book will be of use to anyone involved in designing or constructing websites, including developers, information architects, user experience professionals, and interaction designers. Of course interfaces for requesting user input are not restricted just to web interfaces, so the information contained in the book will also be relevant for developers and designers of desktop and mobile software.

For more information, see the O’Reilly product page.

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