The Form Book

The Form Book

Creating Forms for Printed and Online Use

Borries Schwesinger

In order for forms to fullfill their organizational role, their content and design must fit in with the work procedures of the provider. However, this is a two-way process, since procedures may also be influenced by forms, and so herein lies one key to appropriate design: forms are always simultaneously a mirror of internal organization and an instrument that can change and/or optimize that organization.

Designing forms is therefore not just a matter of giving administrative processes a visual form but changing the processes themselves. The two actions cannot take place independently of each other, however. The aim is always to produce forms that will facilitate effective interaction with users and will create the best possible organizational structure for the provider's working practices. But since these are generally established before the forms are created, the conditions required for successful interaction, such as clarity and user friendliness, are often neglected.