Published by Jeremie Ellison at Friday, June 08th 2018 06:10:22 AM under Form
When implemented well, progressive revealing gives interactive forms a head start over traditional paper forms. When asked a particular question in a form it may be the case that, depending a users response, they are asked a set of specific sub-questions, or alternatively routed to the next appropriate section of the form. In paper forms the specific sub-questions cannot be hidden from the user when they are not relevant to them - but in interactive forms this is relatively easy to do. Use progressive revealing as much as possible in your form design to shield your users from questions they do not need to see.
Form length does not directly correlate to complexity. Many assume that making forms shorter makes them easier to complete. Though shorter forms might be cheaper to produce initially, if the reduction in content results in user confusion, the cost of resolving completion errors form fillers make as a consequence can significantly outweigh any initial savings. In general forms do need to be as short as possible, but never at the expense of clarity and usability.
Make structure clear, and provide navigation to reinforce it. Your form will be divisible into sections so think about the broad groups of questions being asked. Whatever your groups of questions are, make sure they follow the right order and give the groups clear section names. Make the form sections visually distinct by setting the section name in bigger and bolder type, and consider including a contents list on the first page or screen to help people navigate their way through the form. Also make sure that you make good use of features like running headers and footers on every page to remind people what the form is, where they are, and what page number they are on.