Web Form Design In The Wild

From the User Experience People at UIE comes a case study of usable, attractive web forms – http://www.uie.com/articles/forms-fairmont-hotel/share/. One of the things I need to do for the MRRL site is to determine the best kind and format of contact forms for us to use. This article series came at *exactly* the right time for me! The first in the series has 8 design “tips” that the Fairmont Hotel form the author used failed miserably on. The second in the series – linked to from the bottom of the first post – gives 6 more design tips using 2 other sites’ forms that failed as well. Of all of the tips, I think 7 (Always give people a way to easily recover from errors), 13 (Illuminate a clear path to form completion) and 14 (Remove secondary actions whenever possible) are the three most likely to help with user understanding of the form – and user completion of the form. I like the way the author took 3 forms, tore them apart and used the wreckage to deliver a nice, concise message about how to deal with forms on your site.

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