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Design Better Forms

Updated 28 March 2018



A Web form or HTML Form in the web pages allows the users to fill the required information using HTML Elements such as Text Box, Checkbox, Radio Button, and Text Area. It also sends the data to the server so that server could respond as per the user needs. The following steps can be followed in order to make the forms better-

Proper Label for Text boxes :

Every Textbox, Radio Buttons, Checkbox, have proper label naming. The proper gaping manage between label and elements. Textbox should have proper placeholder to define itself.

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Note : The Label must needed for every textbox because some browsers does not support placeholder. Google can easily crawl the label.

Color is one of the important factor :

When Design a form we should keep in mind that what color should use in label text, Input field, input text. If any field is active in that time never choose gray color because generally gray color is use for deactivate. If your form is light in color then make the button dark in color so that contrast should maintain.

The significance of Script Validation on element:

There should be a validation of the input elements managed by a scripting language so that invalid data could not get submitted to the server.


Proper tab indexing:

When a user fills the first element and then presses the tab button, he must be taken to the element which is next to the current element instead of jumping or skipping to any other element. In order to achieve this, there should be a proper tab indexing so that user could not get confused and the form could itself guide the user about which element to fill next.

One column format for the Form:



HTML Element should be inline in a vertical way i.e It in the form, one element must be placed below another and so on as In general, human beings are more comfortable in reading the content of a page from the top to bottom. On the other hand, A form with multiple columns distracts the user and could confuse him about which element to fill next, So it is always better to set elements inline vertically.

Proper Grouping of Elements:



Proper padding and margin should be maintained by the designer in the form so that it could result in improved readability for the user and he can easily distinguish the label name and its corresponding element with other labels and elements present in the form.
So Proper padding should be there between two elements and also between a label and its input field.


Clarity of error messages:


When a user enters some wrong information/Input in a particular field while filling the form and is stuck. A proper inline error message must be shown to the user mentioning about the exact cause of the error. In this way, the user can easily correct his mistake and could move forward with ease.
The user should be always guided by an accurate and humble message such as -“Sorry, No special characters allowed, please try again”. It is always a good experience for a user to have a decent and precise error message so that he could proceed with filling the form comfortably.

Divide lengthy form into multiple steps:

Users often find lengthy forms quite boring and it could lead to increase in bounce rate too.The best practice to avoid this to happen is to break your long form into multiple steps. In this way, the user will be more engaged and to fill the form in steps will be a quite interesting task for him, as completing one step will guide him to the another and eventually to the end of the form in no time. So the user will be more comfortable in filling fewer fields in one step than all the fields in one single form.

Micro-interactions should be there at every step:

While filling a form, when the user clicks on a button/text box and at that time if some transition happens, it would be more interesting for the user to fill that form and it also indicates the user that some process is taking place and once the transition is complete, user can move on to the next field in sequence.
One classic example of the usability and effectiveness of the micro-transition is when the final form submission button is clicked by the user and a loader appears to show the ongoing process, it will keep the user informed that the form is being submitted. On the other hand, If no loader would be there, the user will get confused about and will think if the form is even submitted successfully or not.

Success message on the form submission:



A success message is a must have for the user when the form is finally submitted. It assures the user that the form is successfully submitted.

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