Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Web Form Design: Boingo

The usability of Web forms using Boingo as an example ...

"As a frequent flyer, I regularly find myself jumping onto airport wireless Internet connections between flights. Just about every airport uses a different service provider, but many of them make the same mistakes when designing their sign-up forms.

To understand why, let’s consider the context of an average customer. Their goal is to gain access to the Internet so they can check email, look up information on the Web, or get some work done. Most often, these people don’t have a lot of time because their flight will be leaving soon. This means customers who are already sold on the service (they know they want to get online), and are in a hurry.

Any Web form being used in this context should strive to minimize the amount of time it takes to complete and work to be as error-free as possible. Boingo, pictured below, unfortunately gets this wrong by insisting all potential customers create a user account before getting online. The inclusion of this step causes unnecessary questions: do I have to create an account? If so, why do I need one? Maybe I already have an account? Boingo doesn’t answer any of these questions.

To make matters worse, the form provides no validation for username or password inputs. This leaves people in a pogo-sticking mode of guessing a username that might be available, submitting the form, finding out their selection is taken and repeating the process all over again. To top it off, the error indication the form uses mirrors the rest of the input labels (bold red Verdana text) and its positioning above the terms of service requires a double take before being noticed."    (Continued via Functioning Form)    [Usability Resources]

Boingo Signup - Usability, User Interface Design

Boingo Signup


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