Published by Cliftun Beck at Sunday, September 16th 2018 06:15:45 AM under Form
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.
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.
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.