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Are you planning to design a great web forms? Are you aware of the details and requirements to begin with this designing process? Before starting with this, you need to equip with complete information to come up with an effective web form.

There must be a number of questions arise in your mind when it comes to design a web form like Do we need to phone numbers or mere email address can work? What should be this button say “Submit” or Apply”?  To avoid such confusions, you need to establish an effective framework, which will help you to attain a successful design.

When it comes to design a web form, it is essentially required to specifically outline that what exactly the form must achieve. See this:

  • What information needs to be collected?
  • Why you need that information?
  • Who is going to use this information?
  • How this information will be used?
  • When this information is needed?
  • Where this information going to live?

A form acts as a tool to collect important information therefore; its design need to be determined according to the information required. It is mandatory to discuss the above mentioned questions with vital investor to provoke constraints, which will help to come up with a better idea or design.

Moving ahead to the next element of the framework, it is essentially required to recognize the context of use. The focus need to be shifted towards the requirements of the people filling out the form.

Where these forms need to be filled out? Do they need information from different sources to efficiently fill out the form? There are several other questions arises at the time of filling up the form.

Identify Target Audience

To develop the best web form, one has to identify and comprehend target audience i.e. the form filler. There are three different tools that will help you to identify target audience and their sense of filling out the form.



Segmentation is a term referring to the process of establishing different groups of individuals who might be required to fill the form. Such as, a prospective employee, as well as his new employer and a medical practitioner might be required to complete a pre-employment medical form.

Segmentation is possible on various dimensions, including:

  • Role – as mentioned in the example above
  • Demographics – age, income, gender, academic qualification, demographic etc.
  • Level of engagement with a particular service or product – such as not aware, aware but currently not considering, considering, planned to buy, already bought
  • Opinions and Perceptions – is he satisfied with a current service
  • Preferences – would like to have an accurate quote by offering more information or wish to get an estimate quickly, without doing much.

After segmenting the target users, it is easier to determine for which individuals the form should work, while which elements can be done without.

Personas can prove to be helpful for representing various segments. Personas refer to a narrative description of an individual belonging to a particular segment. For this you are required to spend time analyzing the natural behaviour of people, to better know their thinking and feelings. If not done well, then personas can be restricted to only fiction, based on poor understanding and stereotypes.

Segmentation helps to know the various groups consisting of different form fillers, while Personas represent these groups in a tangible form. Scenarios provide a description of various individual behaviours, when placed in a certain context. What was Sam doing before coming to the form? What he wishes to get from filling it? How much information he has and what information he is required to get from someplace else? What kind of questions he is expecting? What he thinks will happen after submitting the form?

Start Designing Now

Designing Now

The above mentioned procedure might seem unwanted to many, however it is worth the effort. Spending time getting the answers to six Ws lessens the chances of facing any hurdles later in designing stage. It is nothing less than a nightmare to design and wireframe a form including multiple pages which depend on real time server updates and discovering later that the required updates are not possible.

Segmentation, Scenarios and personas also reduce the chances of the work being affected by spanners. However, these significantly help to ensure that the design is aimed at the users, offering a methodology to resolve internal disputes. Instead of relying on decisions driven by opinions, the teams can easily adopt segmentation, personas and scenarios to find out which makes the most sense.

Data Items and Questions

data items and  questions

Now you have a framework for the form, along with a thorough understanding of target audiences, so it is time to get into the details. First step is working out data items for the form, which refers to a particular segment of information required to be collected by the form, like date of birth of form filler.

It is recommended to compile a list mentioning the required data items prior to starting with sketch, wireframe or prototype. It should not be complicated but should include an identifier, like date of birth, storage format, string, and is the data item optional or mandatory. In case you are familiar with the development process of waterfall software, you will definitely understand the significance of data items as considerable part of functional specification.

Once data items have been listed, the next step involves writing questions. While doing this you should stay clear and use language which is appropriate according to audiences. Remember that help text of question level and choice in answer options, are the factors as crucial as a question. While writing each question, it is suggested to mention a relevant error message to be displayed in case the question is not answered or receives answer in an invalid data format.

By simply applying these steps, you will be able to develop an informative web form that can meet the requirements of form owner and form filler.

If you have any query or want to share your experience regarding this process, feel free to comment on this post. We will be right back with more creative ideas. Stay tuned!


Miracle Studios Digital Agency

10 years Experience, Over 1000+ projects Completed. Do it right, the first time.

Visit Website
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