Monday, January 26, 2015

Tips on Designing Forms


Designing a form can be tricky. The designer has to make sure that the form lends itself to the application. A form that is intended to be printed should be designed differently then an online form. Here are my tips for designing forms:

Interactive PDF

  • When designing a pdf form it is best to think of the viewer's interaction and forms functionality.
  • Use elements like buttons and clickable fields to increase interactivity between the form and the viewer.
  • Add elements (like color, texture and photography) that encourage the interaction between the form and the viewer.
  • Keep the branding of the form consistent to the brand or the event
  • The instructions to return the form should be located at the bottom of the form (since its the last thing people will see)

Printed Form

  •  If the form is intended to be printed, reduce the amount of color (this can help keeping cost down) Black and white is the most preferred
  •  Keep the design simple and elegant. This will make the form easier to read for the viewer and the person receiving the information.
  •  Design the document within a 1/4’’ bleed around the edge. Do not place anything important outside this bleed.

Online Form / Questionaire


  • Setup an account with GoogleDocs or SurveyMonkey to record the responses. ( These websites are free)
  • Make sure the form is consistent to the branding of the company or event. If visual identity resembles that of your company the more likely people are going to fill out the form. (This document is mostly not going to be printed so you don't have to worry about cost cutting)
  • Always record the person's email address so you can quickly respond back to him/her
  • Questions that are not important should not be required (This only form a barrier between you and the customer. You want to remove barrier to better serve customers)
  • Try to have elements that break up the monotony of the form.

Shopping Cart / Ecommerce Form

  • Reduce the amount of steps the viewer has to take.(Customers are interested in as little steps as possible to obtain a product)
  • Avoid typefaces that are not easy to read. 
  • The design should be clear to understand. Customers need to understand what is being purchased