Before you begin designing your web form, there are several questions you need to ask yourself. First, think about the purpose of the form. Why do you need it? How will you use the information you gather? Planning ahead of time will allow you to ask the right questions in order to maximize the usability of the information you gather. Most of the time, people aren’t filling out forms for fun, so make the process as painless as possible. Less is more. If the information isn’t critical then don’t ask for it.
Oftentimes, your form is just one component of a larger database application. Consider what database the submitted information will be added to and how your tables are structured. If you will want to later search for information by using the fields from the form, you need to design your tables accordingly.
Once you begin designing the form, consider how you structure it. Make sure the fields are in a logical order. Adjust the size of the text boxes to match the character limit assigned to them. Select the appropriate form element such as radio buttons or drop downs for questions with predefined answers. Don’t forget to mark vital fields as “required” and set passwords to display as (****). You might consider dividing long forms it into sections, giving each section a subtitle in an HTML block. Fields in a section can also be designed to appear in a column format.
Align the labels in a way that is clear and easy to read. Labels can either be placed on top or to the left of field boxes. Additionally, related fields such as city, state, and zip code could be placed on the same line. It’s usually best to use simple wording and keep it short. Don’t forget to give your form a title by adding a header with HTML. It’s always a good idea to double-check all spelling.
Choose a color scheme that will match the design of your website. Several pre-made, yet modifiable styles are already available in Caspio Bridge. Keep in mind that the styles vary in design as well as in color. You may also use the header and footer to create a custom style, using HTML.
To learn more about the Caspio features mentioned above, visit our online help center at http://howto.caspio.com/.
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