Chris Coyier on HTML5 forms

.net: How do you make something as inherently boring as online forms sexy?
Chris Coyier: There’s no reason a boring task has to have a boring interface. There are a lot of people working in less-than-inspiring environments and Wufoo can help make their job easier and brighten their day. The fun in Wufoo comes from obvious things, such as a child-like colour palette, a playful layout and poetic wording. It also comes from less tangible areas, such as trying to reduce frustration when doing tasks within Wufoo through a user interface that’s clear and responsive. To give proper credit here, Kevin Hale is our lead designer and co-founder, and has been crafting Wufoo’s unique style for years. I'd encourage anyone interested in learning more about this to listen to Kevin's talk about Support Driven Design.

.net: How can new HTML5 features help improve conversion rates?
CC: HTML5 has great features such as ‘placeholder’, which enables you to put a value into a field that then instantly disappears when the field comes into focus. Putting a value such as ‘555-555-5555’ into a telephone number field, for example, helps explain what you want and reduces any slight user confusion and possible form abandonment. There are also little things, such as incrementation arrows for numeric inputs, which will help users adjust fields quicker, and inline validation, which can give users feedback on what they’ve done wrong faster than server-side validation can. The quicker users are able to understand and fill out a form, the higher conversion rates will be.

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