Tips and Tricks

  • Keep it simple: Complex forms are more often abandoned by users than simple forms, regardless how accessible they are. Only ask users to enter what is required to complete the transaction or process; if irrelevant or excessive data is requested, users often abandon the form.

  • Interpret data gracefully: Try to interpret data as liberally as possible. For example accept spaces, dashes, etc., in phone numbers; these can be removed afterwards if required.

  • Be careful with required formats: Postal codes are not numbers in every country, so using and input of the type number could easily become a problem.

  • Allow users to disable or extend time limits: If possible, forms should not be subject to a time limit. This allows users to complete the form at their own pace. If a time limit needs to be in place, for example, for security reasons, the user should have the option to turn it off or extend it. This does not apply if the time limit is due to a live event, such as an auction or a game, or if the time to complete the form is essential for a valid submission.

  • Group related options in select boxes: When select boxes have a lot of entries or different kinds of information, options should be grouped using the <optgroup> element. Such groups should be labeled by using the label attribute.