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may not be easily visible or selectable, as they would in a browser with
a mouse.
Resist the urge to link to other windows with the target attribute. Many
mobile browsers cannot handle multiple windows and will simply drop
the linking window content. Users will be confused and your content will
certainly not be presented as you intended.
14.4.3. Forms
Forms present a challenge to the mobile web designer. To make the mo-
bile experience interactive, you need to include forms for users to input
requests and parameters and for them to receive customized content
from a site. Unfortunately, most forms do not translate well to the mo-
bile browser, where text input and field selection is difficult and error-
prone. Mobile users crave quick, customized information. Design your
forms to be easy to use, and your users will return again and again to
use them.
As always, good content begins with good editing and forms are no ex-
ception. Make sure that your forms are short and to the point. Clearly
and succinctly label the various input fields and elements so that users
know immediately what is expected of them. Whenever possible, set de-
fault values in the form so that users need not fumble through every
element before they can submit the form. This is especially useful when
a user must return to a form to correct an error. Forcing the user to
reenter data each time he visits the form is especially punitive.
Text entry is a special problem, especially when entering passwords and
other masked text. Not all mobile devices handle masked text input
cleanly, and entering a masked password using multitap text entry is
exquisitely painful. In some mobile browsers, the text entry is conduc-
ted in a separate pop-up window provided by the browser, forcing the
user to go through several levels of selection and acknowledgment to
place a single text value in a field.
Keep it simple. Forms with many input elements do not translate well to
the small mobile screen. As users scroll through the form to fill it out,
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