"A well-designed form is barely noticeable. But that doesn’t mean the design process is. Like most design problems, achieving a concise design that seems, in retrospect, obvious, requires much work. There are myriad factors to consider, each with multiple alternatives, each with its pros and cons. Should we have one long form or a sequence of short forms? Should help be provided in-line with the form controls, on the side, or on top? At what point should we validate fields and deal with errors? You could fill a book with the subtleties of form design.
Fortunately, Wroblewski has written that book. Drawing on years of experience designing for eBay and Yahoo, he has cataloged the major considerations involved in creating forms. He walks the difficult line between writing for novice and veteran designers. Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks is an excellent guide for new or de facto designers and a handy reference for veterans. Wroblewski has done the dirty work for us in researching what works best. By following his advice, we—and our users—can quickly and competently get through the forms and onto the fun stuff."
Check out the full review in the printed version of Interactions magazine or access the PDF of the review if you are an ACM member.