This post may well end up a rant so I will apologise now in advance if it does.
Usability was a subject I tried to specialise in whilst studying at University; key word here is tried. I do not pretend to be some type of usability expert or guru. It’s just that usability is something I tend to pick holes in quite often due to my ‘knowledge’. However, it does not take someone with a background in usability to appreciate how annoying my latest pet hate is.
So you’re on your mobile device, whether it be an iOS or Android device (we’re not platform biased here - Apple FTW though) and you need to complete a website registration form. Now sign up forms aren’t the most of fun at the best of times right?
What is even less enjoyable is when you have finally completed the endless number of required fields and attempted to decode the ‘CAPATCHA’ that resembles a toddlers drawing of the alphabet, only to find you have made a mistake. Oh and all of the information you have just entered using your fingertips on your tiny screen has vanished. I don’t think the word annoying accurately describes the feeling when this happens but I’ll leave the expletives down to your own imaginations.
Now seriously, in this era of the web why are there still websites neglecting technologies such as AJAX? Maybe due to budget? Laziness? Time constraints? Is this seemingly small issue, (I must admit it may seem like a small issue to some) not a big enough concern for designers AND clients?
I believe it is. Why? We have all heard how there are an ever-increasing number of mobile users accessing the web from there mobile devices. We also know that this number of smartphone users is not set to peak just yet, in fact far from it – it is actually being predicted that mobile traffic will surpass desktop traffic.
So in essence more people will be browsing websites using their mobile devices. Then why is it then, that the websites who base themselves around users signing up to their products and/or services are making a complete hash out of the user experience on their web forms?
Like I said, web forms are definitely not the greatest fun at the best of times and that goes for both users and designers. But if you really want to get people signing up to your website whatever it might be, you might want to take a conscious effort on achieving a high level of usability on those web forms.