Published by Cliftun Beck at Monday, June 11th 2018 04:37:10 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.
Use colour strategically. Colour in forms should be used with care - but used well it can really aid form completion and navigation. In general, yellow, for example, is a colour to avoid as much as possible - text set in yellow on a typical light background can be very hard to read - and people can find yellow aggressive. A light shade of a colour, like blue, across the whole background of a form relieves the eye from the harshness of a stark white background. And if the answer spaces people have to fill in are white, the tinted background both cues them in to where they write, and allows them to visually sense how much they have to fill in.
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.