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Designing the user interface effectively

This section offers tips for designing the layout of the forms in your applications. By following standard UI design practices, you can help your users understand how to fill out forms more easily.

The following figure illustrates a form with a poorly designed user interface. This form:

  • Is "packed" with a large number of fields, all of which must compete for the user's attention.
  • Is poorly organized, providing the user with no visual clue as to the relationship of the data or the logical flow of actions.
  • Does not provide enough visual distinction between field labels and labels that group sections of fields.
  • Does not align fields consistently.
  • Does not label items consistently (for example, sections along the bottom are not labeled).
  • Has a button (Clear Table button) that does not follow the appropriate section.

Poorly designed interface
(Click the image to expand it.)



The following figure shows a well-designed interface. This form:

  • Includes only the fields necessary to perform the tasks for which the application was created.
  • Arranges the fields so that related data is grouped logically, and makes groups of related data visually distinct.
  • Makes important fields stand out from the background, enabling users to accomplish tasks quickly.

Well-designed interface
(Click the image to expand it.)

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