More advice on creating better forms

This list of posts and articles on better forms is organised around the themes that may form part of a topic map. See the post on creating a topic map: Discussing a topic map for how to design better a form

Get the questions

Read the legislation

Decide on measures of success

Understand needs and goals

Observe people using the forms

Find out how you’ll use the answers

Write the questions/write good questions

Same thing/same name; different thing/different name

Use words that users understand

Avoid double-barrelled questions

Label the button with what it does

Put the questions on the page

Start with one thing per page

Provide a sense of control

Choose the right UI components

Kill your select boxes/avoid drop downs

Start your paper form design ahead of the digital equivalent

Usability testing

Observe colleagues dealing with the forms to understand their workflow

Do card sorting with users to understand which questions go together

Test at every stage


Do the hard work to make it simple

Make it easy for users to do the right thing

If you don’t know what you’ll do with the answer, don’t ask the question

Make use of information that you already have