Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Obvious really!, 21 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Forms that Work: Designing Web Forms for Usability (Interactive Technologies) (Paperback)
Jarret and Gaffney have written a book that on first scan results in you muttering 'Bloody commonsense, surely'. Improving online forms is commonsense, but there are still many atrocious examples out there to warrant a more thorough reading of this book.

The authors categories the users of online forms into

* readers
* rushers
* refusers

And it is these last two on which those running websites need to focus. Simply put, if someone refuses to complete your online form, because you have made it difficult for them, they are either going to pick up the phone, send you an email or visit a competitor's website - all of which will cost you money.

Although quite a few of the examples of poor forms are culled from government websites (slightly too many in my view) they act as great reminders of how not to do it.

The book is written in a engaging, folksy style (a la Steve Krug, who wrote the forward and is responsible for the seminal usability book 'Don't Make Me Think'Don't Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability), and the authors clearly have lots of experience upon which to draw.

A few irritations would be the amount of blocked out details (note to authors: postcodes don't have to be real to get the point across) and the book's billing - Steve Krug, from Amazon's title description appears to be one of the authors - stretching it a bit in my view.

Overall, a very useful book and a poignant reminder that what seems to be obvious ways to improve online forms are just that - but sadly that website owners are still infuriating their users with poorly conceived forms.
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