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Figure 4-32. The third and final acknowledgment page
Form usability
It is easy to create a form, but it is much harder to create a really good form. The City
Press tip form shows all the options and input variables that can be taken into account
when creating even a simple form. Forms really do become more of an application than
a web page the more complex they get, so you need to consider usability seriously . Even
in the City Press tip form, more could be added to make it even more usable. For in-
stance, the title attribute could be added to all input fields to give a hint to what those
fields are expecting when the user hovers their cursor over them (or uses a screen read-
er). It gets more serious than that, though; if your form is at the point at which the gener-
al public starts giving you money, you need to test your form rigorously, observe people
using it and record their reactions (even if your audience is just a few colleagues from
the other side of the office), and make sure it works as well as it possibly can.
Exhaustive coverage of the subject of form usability is well beyond the scope of this
book, but the guidelines outlined in the following sections should be enough to help you
avoid some common form usability problems. Beyond the information you'll find in this
chapter, I recommend reading the classic Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Ap-
proach to Web Usability by Steve Krug (New Riders Press, 2000).
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