Thursday, May 11, 2006

ICE on using Forms to demoralise online Customers

What not to do with forms design ...

Like many other rants, it starts with personal experience and generalises into a design diatribe - but this time it's couched in opposites.

So, for a flavour: 'They ask for the VIN which stands for Vehicle Identification Number. You can't submit the form without it. Surely, you have your car's VIN memorized don't you? Of course you don't! And neither do I. It's raining outside and there is no way in hell that I'm going outside to check the VIN. I'd have to take paper and pen with me because VIN's are approximately a jillion characters long and a mix of letters, numerals, the Klingon alphabet and hieroglyphics.'

And a tip for discouraging users: 'Force me to input data according to how your system wants to see it. Use a lot of "masks" for your data input, but don't show them to me until after I screw it up and put in the information wrong. Extra points for a phone number mask like: Phone numbers must be entered in the following format, +1 (###) ###-####. Not only is it hard to read, but it is nearly impossible to guess."   continued ...   (Via Usability News)

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