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Forms that Work: Designing Web Forms for Usability (Interactive Technologies) [Paperback]

Steve Krug , Caroline Jarrett , Gerry Gaffney
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
RRP: 35.99
Price: 30.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

17 Nov 2008 1558607102 978-1558607101
Forms are everywhere on the web - for registration and communicating, for commerce and government. Good forms make for happier customers, better data, and reduced support costs. Bad forms fill your organization's databases with inaccuracies and duplicates and can cause loss of potential consumers. Designing good forms is trickier than people think. Jarrett and Gaffney come to the rescue with "Designing Forms that Work", clearly explaining exactly how to design great forms for the web. Liberally illustrated with full-color examples, it guides readers on how to define requirements, how to write questions that users will understand and want to answer, and how to deal with instructions, progress indicators and errors. This work: provides proven and practical advice that will help you avoid pitfalls, and produce forms that are aesthetically pleasing, efficient and cost-effective; features invaluable design methods, tips, and tricks to help ensure accurate data and satisfied customers; and, includes dozens of examples - from nitty-gritty details (label alignment, mandatory fields) to visual designs (creating good grids, use of color).

Frequently Bought Together

Forms that Work: Designing Web Forms for Usability (Interactive Technologies) + Letting Go of the Words (Interactive Technologies) + Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (Voices That Matter)
Price For All Three: 74.05

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers In (17 Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558607102
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558607101
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 18.8 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 402,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"The humble form: it may seem boring, but most of your website's value passes through forms. Follow Jarrett & Gaffney's guidelines, and you'll probably double your online profits. - Jakob Nielsen, Principal, Nielsen Norman Group "This book isn't just about colons and choosing the right widgets. It's about the whole process of making good forms, which has a lot more to do with making sure you're asking the right questions in a way that your users can answer than it does with whether you use a drop-down list or radio buttons. - Steve Krug, Foreword author and author of the best selling Don't Make me Think "If your web site includes forms, you need this book. It's that simple. In an easy-to-read format with lots of examples, Caroline and Gerry present their three-layer model -- relationship, conversation, appearance. You need all three for a successful form -- a form that looks good, flows well, asks the right questions in the right way, and, most important of all, gets people to fill it out. - Janice (Ginny) Redish, author of Letting Go of the Words -- Writing Web Content that Works

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than I remember it 23 Mar 2010
I wrote the foreword for this book, so obviously I think very highly of what Caroline and Gerry have to offer. (Eveyone who knows how much I hate writing will understand that agreeing to do the foreword means I *really* liked this book.)

Even though I make a point of recommending Forms That Work--along with Ginny Reddish's excellent Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works (Interactive Technologies)--every time I give a talk anywhere, I haven't actually re-read any of it since it was first published. Then this past week when someone asked me a question about forms, I pulled my copy off my bookshelf. I found what I was looking for right away, but then I started leafing through it, just enjoying all the great advice embedded in the headings, and dipping into some of the text and illustrations. I have to admit, it was even better than I remembered.

Here's my advice: If you have a form on your Web site, do yourself a favor and get a copy of this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Drys
Anyone who creates or commissions forms must read this book, by authors with extensive practical experience of creating successful forms. Although the sub-title refers to web forms, much of the content is equally relevant to paper-based forms.

The book is also a must-read for anyone who works in marketing, because it will give them an insight into why the design of forms must be user-centred, not simply to fulfill marketing requirements.

The book starts with an explanation of the three layer theory of forms: relationship, conversation, and appearance that forms the backbone of the book. It emphasises the importance of using persuasion to get people to fill in forms, and gives an insightful and helpful approach to the answers that people need to provide: the no-brainer "slot-in" answer, the go and find it "gathered" answer, the go and ask "third-party" question, and the think it up "created" answer.

It is easy to read, with many illustrations, and backed with strong references in the excellent Further Reading section. Supported by examples and interesting case-studies, this is a great companion to Janice (Ginny) Redish's "Letting Go of the Words" from the same publisher.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taught an old dog some new tricks 8 April 2011
Although I've spent a lot of my time designing forms, I found this book to be full of useful little tips on getting the details right. It's a great guide for anyone building a one-off form, and an equally great reference for frequent designers to make sure they're making their forms as effective as possible.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading 15 Sep 2010
Some of the books in our office live tidily on the bookshelf. This one is always open on someone's desk. That says it all really.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource & well illustrated 6 Jan 2010
Forms are one of the more common parts of today's websites and also the cause of many usaility problems. As people use more transactional websites requiring them to provide information online the importance of forms will only increase. The mindset of users changes too once they encounter forms (the data protection fears come up and they often recall their nightmare worst registration form) so what may seem just a small thing can have bigger consequences.
This book is a great reseource from two experts in the field and thankfully, unlike many online forms, the book itself is quite usable. The illustrations and examples are great and make the most of positive and negative examples. Like another good resource, Letting go of the words , by Ginny Reddish it uses icons of smiley faces to indicate the problem or good example and therefore keeps the book skimmable. It is also quite comprehensive in the range of forms that it covers. Highly recommended for anyone looking for lessons on best practice in online form design.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Logical Nuggets Of Wisdom 12 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well written study on web forms that has helped me when devising tests for clients. Read a review on here that said it 'stated the bleeding obvious' which I don't agree with unless the reader has the ability to retain information in huge proportions (I don't). This is an excellent reference book that I will continue to dip in and out of when devising test recommendations to improve form usability. Highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging with users 30 Jun 2011
Clearly and concisely shows how to design forms that will work. Good range of easy and quick to read and quick to appreciate case studies of why things work and why they don't. Some very amusing examples too - Highly recommended
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Useless for anyone but a complete beginner
I never write reviews, but I feel compelled to contradict the good ones left for this book. I have nothing against Caroline Jarrett - I've read some interesting articles by her on... Read more
Published on 30 Jun 2011 by Kate_Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Usable!
This is an excellent book. Not only does it tell you pretty much everything you need to know about designing forms for the web - something that can cost you a lot of money if you... Read more
Published on 11 Nov 2010 by N. De Voil
1.0 out of 5 stars Very basic
I found the book quite disappointing. His 'Don't make me think!" book was much better. I felt that this one was essentially an article drawn out into a book.
Published on 26 Feb 2010 by D. Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent summary of form related topics
One of the MUST HAVE in library of anyone working in the user experience / usability area.

Authors present human oriented approach for forms design, that is based on the... Read more
Published on 22 Feb 2010 by Maciej Bieganski
4.0 out of 5 stars Obvious really!
Jarret and Gaffney have written a book that on first scan results in you muttering 'Bloody commonsense, surely'. Read more
Published on 21 Feb 2010 by Mr. D. Croxen-John
5.0 out of 5 stars Really useful for developers!
As a developer, most of the software I create is about web forms, so it's naturally important that I create very usable forms so my customers can get a ver efecient environment. Read more
Published on 16 Feb 2010 by Miguel Silva Alho
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading but needs a more international outlook
This is the best web usability book I've read so far, and it brings the focus to web forms which other books fail to do and which is urgently required. Read more
Published on 18 April 2009 by Amsterdamned
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