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CanUX day 1, part 1: Web Forms

Here’s a quick update for day 1 of CanUX 2008, Banff Alberta.

Luke Wroblewski kicked things off with what turned out to be a lively discussion of web form design—no small feat considering it was 9 in the morning! His talk covered some of the topics in his new book, so no need to get into the nuts and bolts here. A few things that stuck out:

  • Web forms are this lynchpin in interaction design, but often don’t get the respect they deserve. And there’s really no excuse: there are a lot of evidence-based best practices to draw on.
  • “Inside-out thinking”: Luke referenced this concept several times, and I think it pretty succinctly and accurately describes the mindset that drives a lot of bad design. Inside-out thinking happens when we stop empathizing with the user… 
  • Beyond the form: before they can experience any functionality, most web apps force users to complete lengthy registration processes and whatnot. Drawing on sites like Geni for inspiration, Luke talked about integrating and embedding this stuff into a few lightweight, constructive actions that allow users to understand and feel accomplished in the site from the get-go.

Next up: Swim Lanes, a cool method for visually documenting design inspiration and requirements all at once.


Photo credit: mastermaq

David Gillis More posts by David Gillis