UX / UI Design

Dobleuv.

6.10.22

UX as a tool to reduce cognitive effort in forms

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A bad design makes a form a mission impossible. Good design makes it a satisfying experience.

Filling out a form doesn't have to be a cognitive test or a test of patience. On the contrary, we design to avoid effort, simplifying people's lives. We don't want them to work too hard or take too long These avoidable frustrations lead the user to make the decision to abandon the page.

Therefore, we share with you some tips and strategies to design effective and friendly forms:

Make titles and steps visible

If users can clearly distinguish the title of the page and the steps to be completed they will always be aware of where they are in the process. They will also be able to estimate the time needed to finish each instance.

You can achieve visible titles by using larger fonts and boldtypefaces. Likewise, the steps to follow must also be easily highlighted and guide the user in an intuitive way.

Use friendly backgrounds

The combination of the background with the spaces to be filled has to be visually friendly and accompany the intuition provided by the headings. As a result, users can concentrate on the label and write better.

Another practice to simplify the user's effort is to reduce the visible borders that often make a form look overwhelming. With fewer borders, the form looks less intimidating.

Reduce the number of fields by combining data

Too many fields predispose the user to an endless challenge. If you reduce the number, you reduce the cognitive load. You can do this by combining data in a single field. For example, by creating a full name field by specifying in parentheses that both the first name and last name are required.

Include extra information (when necessary)

When you feel that a field is not fully explained by a title, you can always include information or hints as labels in parentheses. This way, users do not have to do any work to understand what the field to be completed is about, since we did not take it for granted.

Standardize selection menus and text fields

If selection menus look different from text fields, the user may consider them to be two activities with unequal logic and effort. It makes the form-filling exercise look more complex and convoluted than it really is.

Design text fields and selection menus in a uniform and consistent manner, communicating to users that both are input components that are completed with equal ease and speed..

Prioritize text fields

Whenever it is possible to replace a selection menu with a text field, it is a good idea to do so. It is easier for users to complete a text field, because it saves them the exercise of scrolling and reading a list..

Highlight the final action

Once users reach the summary page, it is the final step in the process. In this context, a green button is quickly identified as the moment of completion. Combine it with an icon or check mark to reassure users that the system has confirmed their final action.

Form ends, but the UX continues

The user experience doesn't end once the form ends. We can provide more content to view or include a button to return to the top of the page, so the user continues browsing. We can also devise sections with recommended products based on the purchase made or the personalized tastes we have for the user, keeping them interested after payment and completion of the process.

Conclusion

The goal of these strategies is to reduce cognitive effort so that users do not have to think and work unnecessarily. Bad design leads users to spend more time and consume more energy, frustrating them in the process. Good design prevents this from happening, and makes the experience simple, fast and satisfying..

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