As I was reading these posts, it made me think about the kinds of things I was saying in a presentation on forms usability a week or two back. I was drawing on the work that Caroline Jarrett did with the Open University and what she wrote about in her 'Forms That Work' book.
We see something that looks familiar and gloss over the rest, presuming that we know what it's going to say.
So when writing instructions, cut to the chase - keep to the bare minimum and put key words at the start of each point. And don't challenge the user by presenting something in a flow that is different to what would normally be expected.
|Familiar signage, but how many read the words?|
Spoof underground notices #2 on Joe Bloggs blog
|Caroline Jarrett's eyetracking research on users of an |
Open University prospectus request form
The eyetracking image is taken from a presentation by Caroline from 2009 on label placement.
Label placement in forms and other time consuming controversies - presentation by Caroline Jarrett on Slideshare