Forms should be logical and intuitive.
Making sure your forms follow logical steps, are as short as possible, and cleary explain what's needed will go a long way toward helping everyone complete them more easily.
Use brief, plain language for instructions and cues.
Be as clear and straightforward as you can. If referencing another part of the form in instructions, state clearly which section you're talking about. Buttons should also be descriptive and tell exactly what will happen when someone clicks.
Button Text Examples
"Click Here" is too vague to know what action the button leads to. "Sign Up" is much more clear about what will happen when the button is clicked.
Error messages should say exactly what went wrong and how to fix it.
If you have control over your form's error messages, make sure they state the problem in plain language and give some clear way to address it.
Put any instructions or important text outside of the form.
Screen readers will read out legend text and form labels when a user tabs to individual
fields or a set of fields to complete, but screen readers usually skip text between
the portions of the form that people fill out. Place any extra descriptive text, such
as instructions, immediately before or after the form to ensure they are read.
Third-party forms and forms developed in-house will need an accessibility review.
If you'd like to use a form from a third-party vendor or create a custom form, you will need to have the form reviewed for accessibility compliance before it can go live, with the exception of forms created using Formstack.
Request a Review
It's always best and easiest to request a review of any new digital tools or services before you purchase or start using them.
If you're working on an sc.edu site in the OU Campus content management system, learn how to build forms using built-in tools.