Online Form Innovation Awards

Posted in Business, content, Data, ideas, information architecture, Online by solle on 23/01/2009

Last year I was moved to create the Online Form Innovation Awards after the experience of too many bad experiences and grave disappointments with online forms (the tip over the edge was an appallingly laid out Microsoft Word document masquerading as a form for another online innovation awards).

The fact is that this isn’t a rare occurrence – we come up against bad online (and offline) forms pretty much every day – a day doesn’t seem to go by without me noticing someone in my network Twittering a moan/frustration about a form. It’s shocking that so many of them are quite as bad as they are (irrespective of the efforts of form gurus like Luke Wroblewski and Caroline Jarrett).

Most websites, whether they be transactional, service or community contain some type of form that requires filling in either to receive a service, join up to the site or buy something. And time and time again users are confronted with difficult and complex forms that often give them no idea about their progress, feedback if something has gone wrong or even a little ‘form furniture’ to offer helpful links. These forms test resolve, infuriate and often have a significant and long-lasting detrimental effect on the associated brand or website.

So. Rather than be negative and create some celebration of the bad I thought it would be much better to invite a list of respected practitioners to judge and celebrate the best examples of the online form with the intention of creating a valuable resource centre for the many aspects, requirements, examples, best practices, and professional guidance for the online form.

The Online Form Innovation Awards have two purposes:

A to yearly hold an ‘Online Form Innovation Awards’ to highlight current innovation, style, usability, accessibility and strong conversion in online forms such as signup, application, or purchase.

B to build a reference library and forum of best practice for anyone online looking to understand, learn, discover, and share knowledge regarding the many variations of the online form.

The idea is to invite anyone to put forward or nominate any online form on their or any other website that they think deserves reference (ie signup, application, purchase) before a selection of judges with the intention of highlighting present innovation, style, usability, accessibility and strong conversion.

The judges in 2009 are a varied selection of web professionals, media consultants, online entrepreneurs and writers working in design, technology, theory, interaction, usability and accessibility:

Nico Macdonald writer, researcher and consultant working in media, technology and society. Spy

Lisa Halabi head of usability at Webcredible, one of the leading usability and accessibility consultancies in London. She’s a founding member of the UK Usability Professionals Association and an advocate for all things user-centered. She’s appeared on BBC Radio and ZD Net and contributes regularly to magazines like Marketing Week, Internet World, Computer Weekly, NMA and Travolution.

Richard Sedley Director of the cScape Customer Engagement Unit (CEU), a collective of online specialists drawn from multiple companies and offering clients a single source for the best in online marketing. Richard is also a columnist for Customer Magazine and Course Director in Social Media for the Chartered Institute of Marketing. In February 2008 he co-authored the book Winners and Losers in a Troubled Economy which looks at how companies can engage customers online to gain competitive advantage during a recession.

Luke Wroblewski Principal/Founder, LukeW Ideation & Design

Sid Yadav is a web entrepreneur based out of Queenstown, New Zealand. He is currently the co-founder and CEO of Nincha, a stealth startup, and creator of Memiary, an easy-to-use online pocket diary. Previously, Sid founded and edited Rev2.org, a blog covering web apps and services.

Oliver Reichenstein is a Swiss interaction designer living in Tokyo. iA

Caroline Jarratt is a usability consultant who specialises in forms, surveys, and tuning content of government and non-profit web sites. She is co-author of Forms that work: designing web forms for usability (foreword by Steve Krug). Effortmark

Joshua Kaufman is an interaction designer and user experience consultant living in San Francisco. He can be found at unraveled.

The first awards are open for entry now and will close on the 31 March 2009. The winners will be selected and notified on 24 April 2009. Rosenfeld Media have kindly supplied three copies of Luke Wroblewski’s book Filling in the Blanks to be given to three selected winners.

Please visit the site and make a suggestion. Feel free to make suggestions of further resources, links and relevant websites. If you would like to write something or offer up any research paper it would be gratefully received.

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2 Responses

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  1. Paul Blunden said, on 26/01/2009 at 8:12 am

    What a brilliant idea! With Caroline Jarratt on the team you have “the” form expert and I imagine she could judge the entire thing herself.
    Good luck

  2. web entrepreneur said, on 26/01/2009 at 12:58 pm

    welll these awards looks so good.

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