Form Layout usability studies: Left or Right Justified?

10 Feb 2006 - 11:31am
8 years ago
3 replies
2011 reads
fahdoo
2006

Hey everyone,

I work on the usability team for a mobile device company. The question
came up of whether a forms that are left-justified (labels: left
justified, textfield: left justified) or right-justified/fishbone
(labels: right justified, textfield: left justified) is more
appropriate on mobile devices.

I wanted to know if any of you have come across any usability studies
and what the outcomes were.

Here is a site the deals with web forms if you want a visual of what
I'm talking about:

http://www.lukew.com/resources/articles/web_forms.html

Thanks in advance,

--
[-_-] Fahd Butt

Systems Design Engineering
University of Waterloo

Comments

10 Feb 2006 - 3:37pm
Bryan J Busch
2006

> I work on the usability team for a mobile device company. The question came up of whether a forms that are left-justified (labels: left justified, textfield: left justified) or right-justified/fishbone (labels: right justified, textfield: left justified) is more appropriate on mobile devices.
>

Fahd,

This isn't a direct answer to your question, but I wonder why moving
the form input *underneath* the label isn't an option. With a
reasonable bottom margin on each input, I'd find using the form much
easier on a device with a limited screen width.

- Bryan

10 Feb 2006 - 4:44pm
fahdoo
2006

> This isn't a direct answer to your question, but I wonder why moving
> the form input *underneath* the label isn't an option. With a
> reasonable bottom margin on each input, I'd find using the form much
> easier on a device with a limited screen width.
>
> - Bryan

Hi Bryan,

In this particular situation, the real estate afforded by horizontal
labelling is more valuable, as it reduces the amount of scrolling a
user would have to do. Unless the label is paticularly long, it
shouldn't be a problem fitting it with the input field on the same
line, but a good point nonetheless.

thanks

--
[-_-] Fahd Butt

Systems Design Engineering
University of Waterloo

10 Feb 2006 - 6:42pm
mariaromera
2005

Hey Fahd,

There's an option in mobile screens that I don't see on the site you referenced -- Left aligned with fields adjacent to labels (thus the fields are not lined up).

I think part of the reason for this is that with such a small screen you can't waste any space on lining up fields (ah, the luxury of space!), but also, the fields tend to be visually represented as a line instead of a box, so it's not as in-your-face when they don't line up.

I've seen both of these in use:

label:
field
longer label:
field

and

label: field
longer label: field

I haven't seen any usability studies on this particular topic, but I'd be a little tiny bit surprised if no one has done any work on it. Let me know what you find out.

Cheers,
Maria

From: Fahd Butt <fahd828 at gmail.com>
To: discuss at ixda.org
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 11:31:08 -0500
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Form Layout usability studies: Left or Right Justified?

Hey everyone,

I work on the usability team for a mobile device company. The question
came up of whether a forms that are left-justified (labels: left
justified, textfield: left justified) or right-justified/fishbone
(labels: right justified, textfield: left justified) is more
appropriate on mobile devices.

I wanted to know if any of you have come across any usability studies
and what the outcomes were.

Here is a site the deals with web forms if you want a visual of what
I'm talking about:

http://www.lukew.com/resources/articles/web_forms.html

Thanks in advance,

--
[-_-] Fahd Butt

Systems Design Engineering
University of Waterloo

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