How to display 'required' form fields when vast majority are required

14 Mar 2007 - 5:09pm
7 years ago
3 replies
1884 reads
Mark Richman
2006

I am wondering how I might indicate (or not indicate) required fields on a
form where pretty much every field is required.

While in the past I've used the lazy man's convention of indicating required
fields with an asterisk, presenting a page where every label is preceded by
an asterisk seems ridiculous.

Yet, there may be other pages on the site with a more balanced mix of
required and optional fields, where I might wish to use asterisks. Thus, the
absence of asterisks on this page might give a false impression -- although
I can't believe that anyone intelligent enough to notice would imagine that
fields like 'Name' and Zip' are optional.

My inclination is to leave out the asterisks where it seems silly -- and not
even call attention to it with a line such as 'All fields are required'.

Any thoughts? Or is it just too nit-picky?

Mark Richman

Comments

14 Mar 2007 - 5:23pm
Josh
2006

I would recommend against going against your site convention for this
specific form, but if it does look ridiculous and the completion of the form
does NOT have direct effect on the financial bottom line you may want to
message the user at the top of the page with an: "All fields are required"
message. The reason I bring up the "bottom line" is that warning messaging
like that stated above may reduce completion percentage.

It's probably a bad idea to make a judgment about user behavior based on an
assumption re: how they interact with the system you've designed. People
rely on conventions to help them manage the amount of information presented
to them, and the asterisk for required form fields is used frequently on the
Web as well as in physical forms.

You may also want to consider testing both versions with an eye for error
messages, completion percentages (drop-off), and poorly formatted responses.

--
Josh Viney
EastMedia Group
http://www.eastmedia.com

15 Mar 2007 - 10:26pm
Keith_Karn
2007

Mark -
Have you considered just labeling the "Optional" fields (implying that
unlabeled fields are required)?

Keith Karn

On 3/14/2007, "Mark Richman" <markjrichman at gmail.com> wrote
> I am wondering how I might indicate (or not indicate) required fields
> on a
> form where pretty much every field is required.

16 Mar 2007 - 2:32am
Ron Conescu
2005

> > I am wondering how I might indicate (or not indicate) required
> > fields on a form where pretty much every field is required.

What about splitting the form vertically, with two sections:
"Required Information" and "Optional Information"?

ron

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