Re: Resources on designing forms

Subject: Re: Resources on designing forms
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher5 -at- cox -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2002 15:34:08 -0700

At 03:12 PM 9/13/02 -0700, Salan Sinclair wrote:

Does anyone have any resources for designing forms?

I am making forms in Word and then using Acrobat forms.
I'm going to get a book on Acrobat forms, but I'd also like some tips on how
to design the forms for optimum usability.
Ideally, the form would eliminate the need for procedures, in some cases.
Some basic rules:
If the form is to be filled in by hand (and it doesn't sound
like yours will, but maybe...), leave at lease 1 1/2 lines
(18 pts) for people to write in.

As for any UI, make sure the fields of information follow the
logical flow of information. Do not place a checkbox below that
requires an answer in a line above, and all that sort of thing.

Don't get cute about the position of labels for fields. Make it
blatantly obvious which info goes where. I've gotten really messy
on paper forms when, half way done, I discover that I've written
above or below the appropriate box.

Emulate Piet Mondrian! ;-) Make it orderly and visually pleasing.
Develop a columnar grid and only begin a field on a grid line.

Design so that once the form is filled in the rules fade into the
background. Make them light, thin, ... Save big bold lines for
section separators and such.

-Sue Gallagher

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Resources on designing forms: From: Salan Sinclair

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