Hints for Better Forms

Most forms professionals become keenly aware over time that, through experience, they discover quicker and more efficient ways to streamline their work. Whether they be simple manual methods or wizardly technological routines, these process improvements are obviously handy tools. Sometimes these shortcuts save design time; sometimes they save filing time or deployment time; sometimes they just save energy for the forms professional in their effort to keep the forms program viable.

The intent of this feature is to share some of those tips and hints with you. In every edition of our newsletter, Ensight™, you'll find a small number of such hints. At Enformation Central you'll be able to peruse a complete archive containing a collection (often in expanded detail) of these helpful information tidbits.



Plain Language

Whenever possible, avoid techno-jargon or other hard to understand terminology. Use clear, simple words and phrases to define captions and instructions.



Reset eForms

Because people complete forms, they sometimes make mistakes. When designing a form that will be completed via computer, it is often useful to provide a reset button so that data entered incorrectly may be deleted and the filing process restarted.



Radio Buttons

Similar to checkboxes, radio buttons (which indicate mutually-exclusive choices) should be located to the immediate left of the choice whenever possible to avoid confusion. People are accustomed to looking there for them.



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