Minimal Form Interface

A very simplistic form interface that shows only one text input at a time and reveals the next input with a subtle transition. The concept is based on the form at the bottom of the PageLanes website.
minimalform

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Today we’d like share a very simplistic form interface with you. You’ve probably seen this kind of single input view form in several modern websites. We spotted one in the end of the PageLanes website and thought that this is a really nice and user-friendly concept for a form.

So, the idea is to show the user just one input field at a time, without any clutter or distractions, but only with elements that are helpful in indicating how much needs to be filled. On the PageLanes form this is done by adding the step information to the button that will show the next question. But we tried a slightly different layout, with a tiny progress bar and a number indicator on the right side below the input field. We also added some subtle effects when showing the next input.

Please note that we are using some modern CSS properties like pointer-events and animations which are not supported in older browsers.

Initially, we don’t show the navigation arrow. When we focus on the input field, we’ll make it fade in.

MinimalForm01

The numbers in the bottom right tell the user how many questions there are in total and which question is the current one. Once they advance to the next question, we’ll show a progress bar that indicates the level of completion of the form.

MinimalForm02

The next question can be reached by clicking on the arrow icon or by hitting enter. In case there is an error, the error message is shown below the input:

MinimalForm03

A minimal form like this can be really useful for questionnaires or simple contact forms. The advantage is that the user is less distracted and the filling of this form seems like much less work. Clearly, an approach like this has its disadvantages, too. You can’t go back or have an overview of your answers. But that are features that could be implemented in some sort of way. What would be interesting to see is how a form like this performs and if it’s preferred by the user.

We hope you find this inspiring and we’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

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Mary Lou

ML is a freelance web designer and developer with a passion for interaction design. She studied Cognitive Science and Computational Logic and has a weakness for the smell of freshly ground peppercorns.

http://www.codrops.com

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  1. Nice and neat 🙂 Though, would have been great usability wise if a back option was also there.

  2. Very pretty, very well designed visually but some #UX fails for normal users out there like:

    1. Pressing the return key means progressing to the next question – a normal user might press return to say more on the same question.

    2. No back button to go back to a previous question.

    It’s the little things like this that affect our normal users experiences and how they enjoy our website and proposition more than slick single field forms that look great and minimal to us designers.

    Users don’t look for minimal, they look for easy to use.

  3. This is nice, BUT when I hate one thing, then it this way of presenting a form !

    I prefer to see the entire context , before I start entering any data.
    If I am not forced to enter data this way, I immediately jump away from such a page.

    Anyway, nice work.

    • This was definitely my first thought as well. I think it will depend heavily on the context of the form, what the fields are, and how they relate.

      For example, I would not be inclined to use this style in an account registration form, or any form where a cluster of fields are interrelated (as is the case with address fields or credit card fields).

      However, I would gladly use a style like this for a survey form, where I want each question to be taken independently and all I want is for the person to consider the current question. It might even be advantageous in some situations. Consider personality style surveys – sometimes people might look at questions they’ve already answered and say “well, it looks like I’m trending a certain way, so I’ll just keep answering that way.” Obscuring answered questions could drive a more organic response.

      So, there are definitely places where a style like this is a bad idea, but it’s also got a lot of good application, I’d say.

  4. Great looking form – but the usability of it would unfortunately make it crash and burn in a real life situation.

    Some points:
    – No way to see later questions when at the beginning of the form
    – No back or reset button/way to change answers

  5. great stuff here. only a few points:

    – i’d like to see a short progress bar from the beginning, when i’m going to answer the first question. it should be optional if this is consider a module
    – a tooltip with a descriptive list of the remaining steps (viewable on click or on mouseover) should be attached to the steps indication below the field
    – the ‘next’ arrow should be trasparent by default and change its state (clickable / not-clickable) based on the current field validity (better if it depends on HTML5 form validation).

    keep it going.

  6. A dreams comes true..;)
    Being featured in a Codrops Article. Thanks for mentioning us!

    Marcus

  7. Mary Lou I came to this site after browsing many many websites , I am searching for something just like you tube videos slide effect. ( another video comes on clicking right navigation) . Will anybody here help me in doing my job in easy way. Thanks in advance .