Using Eye Tracking to Optimize Label Placement in Forms

UXMatters has another must-read article in their series on eye tracking and form usability, this time on the effect of label placement on form usability.

Conclusions at-a-glance

Their conclusions were both expected and unexpected:

  1. Labels above input fields is best, but if you can't do that, right-aligning labels is better than left-aligning them.
  2. Bold labels are harder to read.
  3. Drop-down list boxes are very distracting and so should be used sparingly. Make the first (i.e. the visible) option a direction such as "Please choose…" rather than an actual choice.

I've always believed that right-aligned labels looked and worked better – it's good to have some formal validation of that belief.

Further Reading on Usability and Forms

Posted on: July 12, 2006 | No comments

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