Published by Gervase Willis at Thursday, June 07th 2018 08:30:26 AM under Form
Customise response boxes to reflect required answers and reduce completion errors. If asking for a persons date of birth, it makes sense to provide a box with the exact number of required digits and an example or guidance note to explain the format that the date should be entered in (DD/MM/YYYY). People from different cultures have different conventions for answering seemingly innocuous questions like this.
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.
Users will become frustrated if when you ask for an email address, for example, if the response box only allows for 20 characters. Its similarly annoying to them when its a long free text box, making the customer question whether they are answering correctly and sufficiently. Providing response boxes that reflect the anticipated answer length and format reassures people that they are filling them in correctly.