18 Apr 2012 - 11:37pm
4 years ago
11 replies

Debates about web form design

I'll shortly be giving a talk that plans to address some of the most commonly debated elements of web form design.

I know what questions I get asked over and over again, but want to make sure my view isn't biased. So I'd like to hear from you. 

What debates — about competing approaches to the design of web forms, not general considerations per se — have you been involved in?

24 May 2011 - 11:39am
5 years ago
3 replies

Partial Date of Birth on forms

We need to know the age of users and their children to invite them to take demo-graphically targeted actions on our site.

Privacy concerns are being raised around getting that specific information, and we're thinking of going with Month/Year instead of asking for a full DOB.

I'm suggesting we go with a dual drop-down interface showing months (January, February, etc.), and years (1993, 1992, etc., (users have to be at least 18, so starting there).

19 Jan 2011 - 2:53pm
5 years ago
2 replies
Darren Ellis

Sign in page form focus post validation

Anyone have strong feelings regarding form focus after failing validation on a sign in page? In the wild, form focus seems to vary quite a bit. Some sites remove focus completely and the user must click back into the forms. Others put focus on the incorrect form. While others blow away any information entered and set focus on the username form. 

Read through the following examples and insert your expectation (mine are at the bottom):

Scenario 1: Bad password entered

19 Aug 2010 - 11:13am
6 years ago
2 replies
Erica Osher

When to Ask Them to Authenticate

Hey everyone!

Would love to hear your thoughts on what is the best time to ask someone to log in/sign up.  Do you think it is before they perform the action (for which signing up is required), after they perform the action or as part of the action itself? 

We have tried all three on our site and haven't noticed a real difference in our metrics.

18 Sep 2009 - 12:27pm
6 years ago
5 replies
Pietro Desiato

Examples of inline validation

Hi all,

I was wondering if you have food example of forms with both inline
and onSubmit validation i.e. a form that validates the fields onBlur
and gives you a feedback when you click continue...


11 Mar 2009 - 12:57am
6 years ago
4 replies
Albert Cornelissen

Best practice for for number of items in a dropdown on a web form?

Hello everyone. This is my first post on IxDA. :) I've been
developing web applications for a few years now, and usability has
always been a priority, but I have only really started obessesing
about usability in the last year or so.

A colleague and I had a discussion about the maximum number of
elements that should be used in a (select) dropdown menu on a web

He thinks that fifteen is the maximum. Me? I'm not quite sure what
to think.

11 Feb 2009 - 5:36pm
7 years ago
2 replies
Nonie Kimpitak

Default Selection for Drop-Downs

I'm putting together a form that contains about 20 fields. I'm
undecided as to what default selection I should display for the
drop-downs (or at least what the best practices are).

The client wants to make sure that the end-users are actively making
selections. So I have a preference as to what it should be, but I'd
love to get some feedback.

Here are my three choices (if there are others, please feel free to

1. If there is a common selection made for a particular drop-down,
then that selection should be set as the default.


16 Oct 2008 - 10:17pm
7 years ago
13 replies
Adam Connor

User Initiated Save vs. Implicit Save

I'm currently working on a project that consists of a fairly lengthy
data entry activity.

Today, this process is done through filling out a series of paper forms,
which themselves are fairly. There is an initial set of forms, and then
depending on how those are filled out, other forms may be required. The
smallest possible set of forms consists of 12 full pages of data.

We are now working to put this process online. The original thinking was
to utilize a stepped process for moving the user through the forms

25 Mar 2008 - 7:03am
6 years ago
4 replies

Google Docs live forms - getting user feedback online

I just noticed Google Docs has a new feature in the Sharing section of a
spreadsheet, called "Invite people to fill out a form".
It seems to me like a pretty neat way to get online feedback/info from your
users. Of course, it has all the limitations a feedback form has as far as
quality and quantity of information, but I'm thinking it could be useful
when forms is what you need anyway.
For example, I was just in the middle of editing some feedback forms as word
docs (e-mailing is the best shot I have to get any feedback in this

15 Oct 2007 - 1:31am
8 years ago
2 replies
Manish Govind P...

To Align or not and how?

A form design query:

I have a very lengthy form for gathering profile
information. Under the most logical grouping of
questions, here is what it appears like:

First name
Last name
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