Fields order in a job form

22 Feb 2008 - 3:22pm
8 years ago
1 reply
1101 reads
Yann Allin

Hi everybody,

I'm wondering how to order fields in a job search form.

My first guess was to place the fields in the following order:

1- Keywords
2- Job
3- Area
4- Experience
5- Type of Contract

According to my client, the right way is to put the keywords field at the

On the other hand, it seems to me that user prefers to search by keywords,
rather than from a job drop-down list. So, it seems logical to put the
keywords field first.

Based on your experience, what are the arguments that could justify one or
the other choices?

Do you have any statistics on how research is more widely used in this
context (by keyword or from the trades)?

Similarly, what are the behaviours observed during users tests?
Thanks in advance,

Yann Allin
Interface Designer


28 Feb 2008 - 6:06pm

Hi Yann
>From my experience working on interface design for job boards (e.g. and talking to a number of job seekers, I think
keywords is the main search field.
Some job seekers will have an idea of area and contract type, whereas
others won't. This means these fields are a lower priority and should
come "lower" in the order.
Also, area and type of contract are often malleable for the user.
That is, the job seeker will compromise on area or contract type for
a position that really appeals.
The problems with a drop down job list are that it:
- Will only really work for a small number of jobs. As soon as the
number of jobs becomes reasonably large, the drop down list will be
- Relies on job seekers having a consistent understanding what the
job titles mean. The discussions on this very board about user
experience/usability/interaction design/interface design etc should
be enough to convince you that for many professions, there isn't a
consistently understood set of job titles. Add to this that there is
often a different understandign between companies, recruiters and
applicants, and you can see what a minefield this is.

Good luck


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