Great forms are…

  • User-friendly. A form that's easy to read is more likely to be completed.
  • Clear. The reader should understand what you're asking for and why you need it.
  • Succinct. Forms should be neither verbose nor unnecessarily complex.

Choose the right type of field for your question.

With each question, think about the answer you want to receive, and choose a field type accordingly. For example, if you're asking a “Yes / No” question, checkboxes allow a user to select both options. Use radio buttons instead.

Using radio buttons instead of checkboxes.

Organize your form into sections.

Use big section headings to introduce the major parts of your form, and smaller ones to identify sub-sections.

Using sections in your form.

Only ask for information once.

For example, if users provide their address in one section of the form, don't ask for it again in a later section.

Ask for information once.

Keep labels and descriptions concise.

Read over your form and think about how you can condense your labels and descriptions without losing any meaning.

Ask for information once.


Clearly label your inputs.

Make sure all of your inputs have labels. Here's a great trick if you're having trouble: set up your label and the user's answer so they form a complete sentence.

Proper labels for inputs.

Write clear and consistent copy.

Avoid using all caps for labels, and employ emphasis only when necessary. If you use too much emphasis—by combining bold, italics, and underlining—your users will ignore it.

Writing clear copy.

Learn more.

Plain and clear language makes your form more accessible to everyone. Writing effective copy takes practice, but it’s an invaluable skill to learn: your audience won’t be able to thank you enough. Check out the resources below to learn more.

Start building better forms with Screendoor.

So now you have a form that's much easier to fill out. Excellent! On to the next challenge: how do you manage and keep track of the responses you receive? Screendoor lets you build great-looking online forms, and we give you the tools to rate and review the responses you receive.

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