Thursday, October 04, 2007

Web Form Design in the Wild, Part I

Form design tips ...

"Whenever I’m asked why I obsess over the details of Web forms, I quickly respond, “It’s because form design really matters.” Run an e-commerce site? Forms broker checkout and, as a result, your sales. Building social software? Forms control the gates of membership. Manage a Web application? Forms allow data to be added and manipulated.

It’s not hard to find lots of examples where these crucial experiences could be improved through better Web form design. In fact, it’s worth looking at a few Web forms in the wild to see what lessons they hold. In this week's article, I will share eight form design tips based on my recent user experience with the Fairmont Hotel site. Next week, I'll take a closer look at the Boingo and British Airway Web sites.
Membership: Fairmont Hotels:

During a recent stay at a Fairmont Hotel, I was asked to join their frequent traveler program –the Fairmont President’s Club. Being convinced of the benefits of membership by the hotel’s clerk, I signed up and shortly thereafter received the following note in my email Inbox.

After reading the overview, I decided to take their recommendation and “Activate my online account.” Unfortunately, this didn’t take me to a page where I could do so. Instead, I was directed to the Fairmont Hotels home page and left to fend for myself. After a bit of digging I found the “activate account” link at the bottom of the Sign In section, which required a click to expose.

Form design tip one: don’t hide forms when you want people to complete them.

The “activate account” link took me to a page titled “Manage Your Fairmont Profile.” That’s great but if I’m trying to activate my account, am I in the right place?"    (Continued via UIE, Luke Wroblewski)    [Usability Resources]

Fairmount Hotel Form - Usability, User Interface Design

Fairmount Hotel Form

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