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Making forms as painless as possible


User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design

with Chris Nodder

Video: Making forms as painless as possible

Making forms as painless as possible provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by Chris Nodder as part of the User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design
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  1. 1m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
  2. 4m 37s
    1. Building a site for your visitors
      1m 29s
    2. Understanding how people browse the web
    3. It's all about information
    4. What causes people to leave sites?
      1m 35s
  3. 3m 50s
    1. Simple design
      1m 9s
    2. Consistent design
      1m 11s
    3. Standard design
      1m 30s
  4. 20m 55s
    1. Elements of navigation
      1m 21s
    2. Content has a structure
      2m 18s
    3. Understanding menus
      3m 19s
    4. Reviewing some menu myths
      2m 4s
    5. Working with site maps
      1m 5s
    6. Adding search to your site
      2m 53s
    7. Understanding links
      3m 43s
    8. Exploring clickable elements
      1m 18s
    9. Understanding Fitts's Law
      2m 54s
  5. 11m 19s
    1. People can begin from any page on your site
      1m 24s
    2. Elements every web page should have
      3m 25s
    3. Creating progressive navigation
      3m 22s
    4. Arranging your content
      3m 8s
  6. 8m 7s
    1. How people read on the web
      2m 31s
    2. Writing for information exchange
      1m 43s
    3. Formatting pages for information exchange
      3m 53s
  7. 7m 21s
    1. Using your homepage as a site summary
      1m 50s
    2. Creating fresh content
      1m 20s
    3. Displaying navigation and search
      1m 25s
    4. The five-second test
      2m 46s
  8. 8m 8s
    1. Showing people what you've got
      3m 50s
    2. Making comparisons easy
      1m 24s
    3. Creating landing pages from ad campaigns
      2m 54s
  9. 11m 22s
    1. The real purpose of detail and product pages
      1m 16s
    2. Writing descriptive text
      2m 4s
    3. Using images to set context
      2m 17s
    4. Showing the price for products
      2m 27s
    5. Have a call to action
      1m 36s
    6. About Us: a special detail page
      1m 42s
  10. 10m 58s
    1. Ask for information in context
      2m 25s
    2. Making forms as painless as possible
      2m 34s
    3. Creating form fields
      3m 37s
    4. Handling errors gracefully
      2m 22s
  11. 9m 9s
    1. Using different types of media
      1m 55s
    2. Simple question: Does it enhance the experience?
      2m 15s
    3. Using graphics for explanation, not decoration
      1m 17s
    4. What is interactive content?
      1m 58s
    5. Laying out your page for media
      1m 44s
  12. 5m 3s
    1. Making money without selling out
      1m 37s
    2. Adding graphical ads
      2m 10s
    3. Creating text ads
      1m 16s
  13. 3m 42s
    1. Simple, consistent, and standard design
      2m 4s
    2. Consider your users and you'll be fine
      1m 38s
  14. 1m 31s
    1. More resources
      1m 31s

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Making forms as painless as possible
Video Duration: 2m 34s1h 47m Beginner Dec 20, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Making forms as painless as possible provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by Chris Nodder as part of the User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design

View Course Description

Discover how to create a user experience that embodies utility, ease of use, and efficiency by identifying what people want from websites, how they search for information, and how to structure your content to take advantage of this. In this course, author Chris Nodder shows how to merge engineering, marketing, graphical and industrial design, and interface design to create a website that meets the needs of your customer, and is simple, elegant, and engaging. The course shows how to use graphics to help rather than hinder visitors, balance advertising and content, and integrate video, audio, and other media. Other tutorials consider the landing page experience and elements like contact forms from the visitor's perspective.

Topics include:
  • Applying simple, consistent, and standard design principles
  • Tailoring your menus, site map, and links for visitors
  • Understanding progressive navigation
  • Formatting page for information exchange
  • Understanding the importance of the homepage
  • Creating compelling category and landing pages
  • Showing the price for products
  • Having a call to action
  • Asking for information on forms
  • Using media to tell your story
  • Earning ad revenue without discrediting your site
Chris Nodder

Making forms as painless as possible

If a form looks too daunting people won't fill it out. If the form is forced on them when they aren't ready to share they will be likely to fill it and in with false information. Several years back I worked closely with the Hotmail email team. When people registered for a Hotmail account, they had to give their ZIP code. This was mainly to help Hotmail target adverts. It was amazing how many users of the service apparently lived in Beverly Hills, California. Obviously, they didn't really. But lots to people who entered the ZIP code 90210, because they knew it from a popular TV show called Beverly Hills, 90210.

Basically, they circumvented the form with false information because they didn't see the value in providing their real data. The way to avoid these issues is to make the form as concise as possible and to make sure people realize the reason you are asking for each piece of information. Sometimes it might even be better to hold off on asking for some information until you have a better relationship with your customer. How do you make sure people give you the data you need? Well, first make sure you're asking sensible questions. Just like the other pages on your site give the form a descriptive heading and a summary line of text explaining its purpose.

If the form asks for more than one type of data, you can use subheadings within the form to separate the areas. Again, these subheadings should be descriptive telling users what you are asking for and why. Then make sure that the labels you use act as instructions to help people fill out the form. For instance, just putting the label password next to a field doesn't help people as much as if you add the context of Enter a new password. Now anyone filling out the form knows exactly what you want from them. A new password rather than spending time worrying about whether they already had a password set up for the site.

As an aside, let me just point out that it doesn't really matter whether you put the labels above the fields or to the left of them. If you're using instructional style labels, they're going to end up a bit longer. That suggests putting them above the fields. If you have a longer form, putting the labels to the side will make it appear a bit shorter. Left aligning all the labels makes it slightly harder for people's eyes to scan between the label and the associated field. So I'd suggest right aligning and the aligning all the items in the form along the left edge of the form fields. Whatever style you end up choosing, above or to the side, stick to it throughout your form and use the same style on every form on your site.

That keeps the interface consistent and helps visitors quickly learn the layout of your forms. What is important is to only use a single column of fields. If you put two columns side by side it makes the form harder to scan and often people will completely miss filling out the right-hand column.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design .

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Q: How were the graphics for this course put together?
A: The graphics are drawn in house at by a graphic designer and then animated with Adobe After Effects. It is possible to get a similar effect using PowerPoint.
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