Designing usable forms: the three-layer model of the form

pile of envelopes including one containing a tax formIf you want to create a usable form, the first step is to understand what a form is. By unpicking its elements, it is then possible to improve each aspect and put it back together in an improved state.

Beginning with a discussion of a form, I explain forms in terms of three layers: perceptual (layout), conversational (questions and answers) and relationship (the structure of the task).

This paper was first delivered at the 47th Society for Technical Communications Conference in Florida.