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CHAPTER 7

FORM DESIGN
INTRODUCTION
Information system not only involves computer but also the manual
systems.
Even in a fully computerized system, some manual operations are
needed.
Computer data entry is a Manual operation.
Forms are used for entering data.
The computer system is designed to respond user's commands and
input data in a manner that makes it easier to operate and use.
Codification of items becomes necessary for computerized system.
Codes should be designed to facilitate data entry.
A form is it surface for presenting or entering information in a
specified format.
An organization uses form for variety of purposes such as employee
bio-data, leave application, travelling allowance, deposit and
withdrawal of money,
INTRODUCTION
Though the paper is the traditional and still the most widely used
medium, the use of video screen for directly entering data and
presenting information is rapidly increasing.
A good format enables relevant information to be obtained,
transmitted, stored, retrieved.
Form design is sometimes considered as a low-level activity and not
given much importance.
Good form design is not possible without proper system analysis.
The content, layout, makeup, printing and paper are the main
considerations in form design.

Input Design Objectives
The quality of system input determines the quality of system output
Well-designed input objectives:
Effectiveness
Accuracy
Ease of use
Consistency
Simplicity
Attractiveness
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Form Design
Guidelines for good form design
Make forms easy to fill out
Ensure that forms meet the purpose for which they are
designed
Design forms to assure accurate completion
Keep forms attractive
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Caption Types
Captions may be one of the following:
Line caption, putting the caption on the same line or
below the line
Boxed caption, providing a box for data instead of a line
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Meeting the Intended Purpose
Systems analysts may use different types of specialty
forms for different purposes
Specialty forms can also mean forms prepared by a high
specialist.
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Ensuring Accurate Completion
To reduce error rates associated with data collection,
forms should be designed to assure accurate
completion
Design forms to make people do the right thing with
the form
To encourage people to complete forms, systems
analysts should keep forms attractive
Attractive Forms
To be more attractive, forms should look in order,
and extract information in the expected order
visual forms or usage of different fonts within the
same form can help make it more attractive
Kendall & Kendall Copyright 2002 by Prentice
Hall, Inc.
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Seven Sections of a Form
The seven sections of a form
Heading
Identification and access
Instructions
Body
Signature and verification
Totals
Comments
Content:
The content of the form consists of all the words, spaces, boxes, etc,
including the title of the form, detailed headings and instructions
if any for its use.
If an instruction is critical, such as 'USE CAPITAL LETTERS', it
should appear before the space where the entry is to be made.
Layout:
Layout is concerned with those aspects that enhance the appearance of
form and make the form more logical.
It involves deciding the font and size of letters, spacing, paragraph
margins and positioning of contents to fit on the size of paper.
Make-up:
The term 'make-up' denotes all the physical features of a form.
Paper:
Forms should be on standard size of paper. The weight and thickness
of paper are also important criteria.


Microcomputer Form Design Software
Numerous microcomputer form design software is available
Features of electronic form design software
Ability to design paper, electronic, or Web- based forms
Form design using templates
Form design by cutting and pasting familiar shapes and objects.
Facilitates completion through the use of software
Permits customized menus, toolbars, keyboards, and macros
Supports popular databases
Enables broadcasting of electronic forms
Permits sequential routing of forms
Establishes security for electronic forms


FORM DESIGN PRINCIPLES
The data will have greater value, be easy to use, and be more
accurate. Design principles, properly applied, will benefit every state
agency through greater efficiency and cost savings.
The basic elements of forms design are:
Title and identification
Without proper title and agency identification, a person may not be
sure they are completing the right form for an intended purpose, or
even for the right unit of state government.
A title for a form should be as brief and simple as possible. Four
words is the guideline for maximum length. A title must clearly state
the function

FORM DESIGN PRINCIPLES
Paper and ink
Generally, forms will be printed in black ink. Ink must reproduce on
copy machines and scanned images.
Forms intended for use by persons with visual disabilities, and those
for senior citizens in general, should be printed in clear, large type
with black ink on a matte finished white paper.
Glossy paper reflects light and coloured ink may lack contrast.
Captions
Captions are short instructions or questions which should provide or
obtain exact information with a minimum of effort and without
confusion.
Forms can have too many or too few words. If they have too many, they
are not read. If too few, they may not be understood. All forms are
to be designed so they are self-explanatory to the person who is using
the form.

FORM DESIGN PRINCIPLES
Spaces:
A critical part of forms design is assuring the right amount of
space is provided for entries that will be made on the form. Given too
much or too little space, persons filling in forms may not be sure they
are giving the right answer.
Order:
The sequence of items on the form is important to the speed and
accuracy of entering and extracting data.
Some sequences are familiar, such as number, street, city, state, and
zip code.
Appearance:
A form communicates in two ways. One is through the appearance of
the form and the other is through the language or words used on the
form. Both ways communicate a certain idea and work together to
relay a total message