like the feature cube with the hed/deck overlay.
When websites evolve and acquire new features it is important to handle “default cases” well. When I registered for the site in this image, the site’s designers had implemented a very basic personal profile, screen name, email and password; later they added additional details such as “Full Name”.
As an early registrant in the system, my account had no “Full Name” associated with it so the “My Account“ interface needs accommodate for a default case of a “user of the system who doesn’t have a full name”. How’d they do? Every been greeted in real-life like this: “Hi None”.
- In the opening paragraph, change “Hi None” to “Welcome back”.
- Under account information, if the user doesn’t have a full name in the system, don’t display “None | Change my name” (‘my’ name is not ‘None’). Instead, just provide an “Add you name”.
When a simple 10 minute exercise in thinking and writing up a few ideas turns into a two week delay in action, maybe the environment precludes the generation of the message. Can simple applications like WriteRoom make you more productive? You don’t need to write the next, great novel to appreciate the powerful, liberating experience of letting go and focusing on the task at hand.
What if writing weren’t so often like this:
but instead were more like this:
The example above from Remember The Milk’s sign-up form points out how easy registering for a product or service should be. It looks so easy, but in reality making it seem easy take experience, empathy and real work.
As a result, you’re probably not going to find the answer to the question “How do I design a great registration form?” in a single blog post. (At least not one written by me.)
So where to look then? Let me suggest that you check out some of the insightful writing of Luke Wroblewski. I’ve read Luke’s articles before on his site, Functioning Form as well as Boxes and Arrows, and A List Apart—he’s worth reading.
If you came here looking for information on creating well designed forms, I’d suggest you read the articles linked here and then give his new book a spin.
Selected articles by Luke Wroblewski:
- Sign up Forms Must Die
- Sign-up Forms Patterns
- Natural Selections: Colors Found in Nature and Interface Design
- Visible Narratives: Understanding Visual Organization
Books by Luke Wroblewski:
By Luke Wroblewski. Rosenfeld Media, May 2008.
Reviews of Web Form Design
By Luke Wroblewski. Wiley, June 2002.
Have a suggestion for an article or book you think I should read about web form design? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear what you think.
A June 25th article in BusinessWeek magazine highlights a study by architectural firm RMJM Hillier, the article list the top ten American cities ranked by design. The study included an assessment of cities with a population greater than 500,000 and interestingly included weighting by “number of ‘green’ buildings and level of sustainability”.
Why Chicago edged out New York for the top spot
The article quotes Peter Schubert, RMJM Hillier design director: “The green aspects of a city—its sustainability, environment-friendly initiatives—were the most important features of design we considered”.