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Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks

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4.04  ·  Rating details ·  2,103 ratings  ·  68 reviews

Forms make or break the most crucial online interactions: checkout (commerce), registration (community), data input (participation and sharing), and any task requiring information entry. In Web Form Design, Luke Wroblewski draws on original research, his considerable experience at Yahoo! and eBay, and the perspectives of many of the field's leading designers to show you ev

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Paperback, 226 pages
Published December 1st 2008 by Rosenfeld Media (first published May 1st 2008)
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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,103 ratings  ·  68 reviews


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Laurian
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ux
I really liked this book.

I read a good handful of UX and design books... mostly because I’m curious how other people see my profession and also because I don’t believe that I can stop learning. I’m driven to keep consuming books!

The problem I have with a lot of UX books is that they just reiterate the same principles over and over again: put your user first, get feedback, design before implement, etc. The authors just find different ways of saying the same thing but within the context of their
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Lauren
May 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Possibly one of the most influential books I have ever read.
Mehran Jalali
A pretty insight-dense book built on research and case examples.
Nadya Tsech
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design-stuff
This book answered most of my questions about forms and helped define a solid solution we can test.

I recommend it to everyone who works on design systems, style guides, and products with forms. It’s short and straight to the point.

I also recommend the video about forms https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPS7L...
Natalia Avdeeva
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found the book useful, especially chapters about labels / CTA alignment principles and optional / required fields mark up.
I found examples a bit outdated though and related to web only (not mobile).
Oz
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Topic: Web Forms & Usability

Why Read It: Another short, fun and practical read. This book will make you a more effective designer who can help increase conversions through better form design. This is stuff that makes businesses money!

When to Read it: It’s good knowledge to have upfront (now), but particularly useful whenever you have to deal with user input of any sort.

"Checkout forms are how ecommerce vendors close deals—they stand between people and the products or services they want and b
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Jay DiNitto
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent handbook for getting started on proper UX design for the dreaded online form. The good thing here is that Wrobleski points out which rules are hard-and-fast and which ones are variable, citing other experts and viewpoint in the field where appropriate. Some modern solutions that address form usability, like the float label pattern, are not covered here because of the book's vintage, but the expounded principals are still sound and endure as long as web forms are still in play.
Phil Eaton
Not a bad reference, not particularly earth-shattering

It really is only about forms. It presents a number of case-studies from a few years ago that already look pretty dated. Most of the rules are common sense if you work in the field. However it's always nice to be able to cite an official source, so I'll keep this book in mind.
Anca
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
From my point of view this book is amazing for beginners but not so useful for the ones with a bit of experience. But it is an easy book to read and it can be used to remind ourselves of some good basic practices.
Justin
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: development
There were many things to learn here, but they didn't feel as sticky as I would like.
My guess is I will forget most of what is in here.
Vladislav Yakimov
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ux-ui
Must-have for all designers which truly think web-form design leaves much to be desired.
Marty
Jun 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: web designers, usability folks
Good or bad, there aren't many books that I can use for my job that I go through quickly. There's just something about a limit to my absorption of information from these books that makes me take my time to get through them. However, that was not a problem with this book. Chock full of good information, Wroblewski manages to make it a quick, easy and yet informative read that only took me 2 days cover-to-cover.

For anyone that works on the web, forms are going to be something you deal with at one
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Irene
Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Good book, covering the basics of online form design and providing plenty of evidence-based advice.
I particularly liked the summary boxes at the end of every chapter, providing the key points to take-away.

Here are my take-aways from this book:

"When the questions that need to be answered before a Web form is complete are spread across multiple Web pages, you may want to include an overview of the number of Web pages involved (scope), an indication of what page you are on (position), and a way to
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Joe
May 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Web developers and designers
Shelves: design
There’s a pretty good chance that you will fill out a form today… and tomorrow… and the next day.

Forms are everywhere you look–we rely on them for nearly everything from searching for information to ordering some goods to balancing your checkbook. As anybody who has encountered a poorly-designed form can attest, when forms are confusing or difficult to use they have the power to bring everything else down with them. A truly evil form can send your world spiraling out of control into a cycle of h
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Chris McDonnell
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: design, business
Most memorable quote
"Forms stand between user needs and business goals. People want to manage their information or create new artifacts. The businesses supplying these services are interested in growing and optimizing the amount of data or customer activity they manage. The barrier for both sides is, of course, a form...forms enable commerce, communities, and productivity on the Web to thrive. It's no wonder that form design matters."

Tweet review
A must read for web execs and empathetic designers
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Lisa
May 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: user interface designers
Wroblewski provides an excellent overview of interface design best practices for Web-based forms. He also provides specific, real-life critiques of what works and what does not in various interface designs. In particular I liked the "Selection-Dependent Inputs" chapter where he subjects various design methods to usability testing and reports on the results. I also like his argument for avoiding forms altogether, at least until you have engaged the user.

Unfortunately, as of the time of this revie
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Kris Jou
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The book's intro sums up what people think of forms best, which is 'forms suck'. We all know this; I defy anyone to say get thrills from filling out an immigration card where one poor wording might cost hours of red tape. It even has a bad rap among web designers/developers, because creating forms has largely remained just as much a chore as it had been in internet's advent (while new technology made other design elements much, much easier). What Luke Wroblewski's book isn't is a book that provi ...more
William Cline
Oct 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: design
Thoughtful, research-based best practices for designing forms. An experienced designer (or attentive user) has probably already seen most of the ideas presented here, but Wroblewski helps you decide what to use in different cases.

The only way in which this feels dated is that it spends all of its time on “traditional” forms (sign up for an account, place an order, et cetera) and doesn't address other “form-like” input UI that you’ll need to build a Web application today.

Ways in which this Goodre
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Matt
Dec 05, 2008 rated it liked it
A look at web forms and the best practices for various types of forms.

Mr. Wroblewski (which is fun to try and say) begins his book with a simple declaration: nobody likes forms. Forms, from an end-user perspective, are what stands between them and what they actually want, be it a product they are ordering, or data they want to see, or even an application they want to use.

Early chapters of the book focus on minimizing forms as much as possible, and, as such, reducing the overhead a user has to g
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Adam Norwood
May 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: web-design, design
I do enjoy it when a book picks a specific focus, sticks to it, and delivers. One of the hardest things to get right on the web is gathering information from end users, and yet it can have a huge impact on your site's usability and (if you're a for-profit) your bottom line. This book lays out all of the common problems you're likely to encounter from a form design standpoint without dwelling too much on the actual HTML/CSS/JS/whatever implementation (which I think is great). An immensely useful ...more
Caitlin (Ayashi)
Dec 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: web-development
Great book about all things forms. It touches on all aspects of form design (not necessarily form development, although there is a very small portion dedicated to that) chapter by chapter, gives a ton of examples you can refer to, and also goes over how all of the different solutions worked out with focus groups.

This is a wonderful read for any developers (or designers) who are hoping to learn more about forms. It can be a little bit more dry than some other web development books I've read, but
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Carole
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is by far the most useful technical book on my shelf. You can talk about UX and IA to developers and it just doesn't hit home until you specifically address web forms.

If you ever get a chance to attend a conference where Luke is giving a talk, you should definitely attend. Many conference talks preach to the converted or simply whip up enthusiasm for the topic at hand, but Luke actually gives practical advice and backs up his assertions with a lot of data.
Loucaspapa
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ux
A must read book for anyone that wants to call himself a IA or UX designer. Web forms are essential elements of the web, and usually the ones that can frustrate the users the most. Mastering them, will help you create more user-friendly web sites and seamless online experiences. The author, Luke Wroblewski, is one of my UX heroes and manages to make a mundane theme like web forming, sexy and exciting. I definitely recommend this book if you ever plan to design a form.
Dan O'Keefe
Dec 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Ok, not fiction. I probably shouldn't mix them.

But in the event someone ever asks me why there aren't any UX books on my shelf... This is a CLASSIC. Luke W. basically took all of the studies about web forms in the world and distilled them into one guide. That's like 150 pages. I'm pretty sure that's akin to taking Einstein's theory of relativity and adequately explaining it for a fortune cookie. Yep, I do not exaggerate. Amazing friggen book!
Laura
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: professional
While this book does contain a lot of common sense ideas it has enough of what I hadn't thought about in terms of web forms that it was well worth my time. I already cited one of the chapters in a meeting where we were discussing how to we wanted to indicate that all form fields were required. It is great to have a reference like this to help assert authority when decisions need to be made.
Dhuaine
Sep 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: tech
Rather one-sided view of the forms - this book is mostly about usability. Accessibility got pushed aside. It doesn't help that half of the information is rather obvious and straightforward to anyone with some knowledge about usability. I did like real life studies, graphs and statistics, but unfortunately felt that the book was a bit too short and not comprehensive enough.
Terry
Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is pretty decent. Does not get drawn into technical detail about actually coding the forms, but more about user behavior and attitudes surrounding what is really a rather boring/arduous phenomenon for web users. It seemed to be missing a little "uumph" at the end, but it could be the material itself moreso than the writing or formatting. A worthy title and a brisk read.
Bruce
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: web-forms
In my mind the definitive guide on web forms. If you hadn't thought about form design before... and there is a pretty small number of people of have then this lays out the principles you should use to make one. Outlines pros and cons of different approaches depending on context.
Vernon
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: web-design
Although the text is rather dry, forms are the bread and butter of interaction online and we have to get them right to sustain any kind of web presence. I give 5 stars to this book because of the importance of web forms and the deserved attention that the author has given them. Thank you Luke.
Kelsey Thomson
Dec 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
A solid, comprehensive look at great form design. I love the "it depends" catch phrase, as this really is most of design. IT is slightly outdated now, and doesn't include any responsive or mobile consideration - but still holds as a great platform for how to go about designing web forms.
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LukeW is an internationally recognized digital product leader who has designed or contributed to software used by more than 700 million people worldwide.

Luke was Co-founder and Chief Product Officer (CPO) of Bagcheck which was acquired by Twitter Inc. just nine months after being launched publicly. Prior to this, Luke was an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at Benchmark Capital and the Chief Design
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“Thinking about how a form can be organized as a conversation instead of an interrogation can go a long way toward making new customers feel welcome.” 0 likes
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