Converting Paper Forms to Online Forms

[]( “”) has an interesting article on [converting paper forms to online forms]( “Paper forms to online forms”). What is striking about the article is how many fields paper forms have, and how those fields do not translate to the web. Additionally, web forms with too many fields confuse users. Here is a list of lessons learned that the article points out:

– A form that works on paper may not necessarily work online.
– Don’t ask for the same information more than once; collect only information that you are going to use.
– Provide a logical structure.

And then the article goes on to point out 6 usability issues to keep in mind when designing the web version of the form:

– Avoid using jargon; use clear, simple language for all field labels and questions.
– Provide a context for filling out the form.
– Include field formatting instructions, if necessary.
– Ensure form elements (widgets) can actually be used.
– Ensure all questions are worded clearly.
– Reduce cognitive load in a form; don’t make users think (humans don’t think like a database).

Overall, the change is drastic, and I find the web version of their form much more pleasant to look at. You can also note that they opted for [label placement above rather than to the side](/2006/10/09/label-placement-above-is-faster-than-side/ “Form Labels above the Field”). You can compare the [paper version]( “Paper Form”) and the [final web result]( “Online Form”). In addition, I created a copy of the form using Wufoo. 10 minutes later I had a fully functioning form with validation that met all of the usability requirements.


  • Often its not enough to say: Name, Address, Tel. No You have to write YOUR Name , YOUR Address etc. I heard the question: Which name i have to write in this field quite often, so i really add YOUR all the time to not confuse the granny’s.

    Posted January 17th, 2007 by Publicidad.

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