Paper forms are static. Immobile, unresponsive, fixed. Forms come alive when they’re on the web: questions can appear or hide, errors can be flagged and corrected, and the experience can be tailored to users and their needs.

In this chapter, we’ll see how to best design all these user interactions, and more. Because we want the total user experience to feel smooth and painless—like gliding down a river—we’ll call this aspect of form design flow.


To begin, I want you to imagine you’re at a party, which is being hosted by your friend Samira.

Samira introduces you to her friend Leo. Leo asks: “How do you know Samira?” You tell Leo you went to the same school, and share some of your adventures together. Before you know it, you’re all ...

Get Designing UX: Forms now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.