Everyday Form Footguns

Workshop Overview: With the advent of Web 2.0 nearly three decades ago, our collective digital experience shifted from one that mimicked the static media of old to one grounded in co-creation, configuration, and curation. Over time, there has been an explosion of novel and exploratory ways in which users can interact with this new digital world. However, when looking at the beating heart of our daily interactions with these landscapes, we still find the ubiquitous digital form—whether we are searching Google, sending a message on WhatsApp, leaving a comment on LinkedIn, filtering shows on Netflix, sharing a file on Google Drive, making a purchase on Takealot, creating an account on Figma, doing SARS e-filing, or even registering for a workshop.

Yet, this critical role played by forms, mixed with their deceptive simplicity at face value, leads to a perfect storm of what Heydon Pickering calls a “10,000-volt electromagnet for attracting usability problems.” In this workshop, we will explore real-world product, business, and usability considerations to keep in mind when thinking about form structure and behavior. We will also look at how you can make a case for spending additional resources on forms within your team and address some common anti-patterns that can be easily avoided.