form design

Subject: form design
From: Miki Magyar <MDM0857 -at- MCDATA -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 25 Jul 1996 15:03:18 -0600

Patty Ewy asked about good form design.

I've seen beautiful forms that were easy to read, elegant, and useless,
because the information they recorded wasn't needed, was poorly
organized, badly worded, etc. etc.

A form, like a survey, is only as good as the thought behind the design.
Think of it in terms of information flow - who has it, who needs it, how,
when, and why. THEN design your form.

Use check boxes whenever possible rather than items that need to be
filled in.

Minimize the number of extraneous lines - they should add clarity, not

I tend to prefer a sans serif font, but make sure you have enough leading
so it's readable.

Make it easy and obvious for the person filling it in to submit the needed
information, and easy for the person getting it to use that information.

Good luck! A well-designed form is a joy for all who encounter it.

Miki (the well-formed)
mikim -at- mcdata -dot- com

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