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#FridayFacts: 7 Mobile Form Design Tips from Game of Thrones

Note: After the season finale on August 27th, the web (and TransformTek’s offices) were buzzing about Game of Thrones. We did wait a month to avoid spoiling it for you. So, enjoy reading this edition of #FridayFacts.

Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, and never get to try again.” This is true for those who dabble in mobile form design only to give up after failing to achieve their goals. As simple as it may seem, this task can be so overwhelming that you may be tempted to give up and hire a mobile app developer. However, there’s one thing we say in response: “Not today.”

You can start creating highly effective mobile forms using the tips listed below courtesy of the main players across the Seven Kingdoms.

1)  Keep it All in One Place (Or the App in this Case)

The Lannisters and Targaryens believe that keeping it within the family ensures their strength. It also reduces the chances of distractions since they don’t need to go seeking elsewhere. So, make sure that you provide forms and other components complementing them within an enterprise mobile app.  

In addition to grouping your forms in one category, place all forms into a single app. You can set the visibility of forms and categories based on criteria such as role within organization or department.

You can further configure the app to ensure fewer distractions. For instance, you can allow users to access the portals they need for work from the app itself. You can also include controls such as Web View Control to create hybrid apps and access work-related websites from the app itself.

2) Grouping is Everything in War and Design  

Control placement is vital in mobile forms. Placing the ‘Sign Up’ and ‘Sign In’ buttons together is as dangerous as having Cersei near a stock of wildfire. Well, not as dangerous, but definitely frowned upon by expert mobile form designers.

Both actions contain the same verb. When positioned close to one another, they can confuse users. Some users may even exclaim “I choose violence” due to limited time and entry problems, opting to delete your mobile app. This, in turn, hinders your efforts towards mobilizing your workforce and instead allows shadow IT to make its way into your enterprise.

So, ensure great user experience by dividing these fields. Also, make the buttons appear different by using different verbs.

3) Some Secrets Should See the Light of Day

As Lord Varys aptly puts it, “Secrets are worth more than silver or sapphires.” However, even the Spider knows that some secrets shouldn’t be hidden. One of the secrets you should think twice before hiding is the text users type in the password text box.

Password input fields are masked to secure their content. However, even the most experienced typists frequently mistype their password. With each ‘Incorrect Password’ prompt, users’ frustration will increase and they may decide to re-pick up their pre-mobility practices.

Therefore, allow users to see what they entered by adding a ‘Show Password’ checkbox or icon next to the password field. That way, they can unmask the password and see their mistakes.

4) The North Remembers, but Users May Not

Not everyone has the perfect memory of Arya Stark or Cersei Lannister (thankfully). As a result, users can forget their passwords. So, give users the chance to restore them in that case, especially from the login page.

Add a ‘Forgot Your Password?’ link beneath the Login button. You can have users choose to receive recovery codes either via email or SMS.

5) Bending the Knee Can Actually Benefit You  

If Jon Snow can bend the knee despite being the King of the North, you can be more forgiving with input formatting unless users need to type very precise information.

For instance, if you require users to enter a phone number into a form, don’t use multiple input fields for each of the area code, prefix, and number. Be flexible and allow them to add information in a way that’s easily scannable by humans to prevent mistakes.

6) Always Anticipate the Other Person’s Next Move

Lady Olenna Tyrell was a breath of fresh air as she didn’t scheme for the sake of the “ugly iron chair”. Instead, she wanted to benefit her own family by anticipating others’ next moves and responding accordingly.

Taking a leaf out of her book, consider anticipating some of your users’ responses and prefill values in fields. For instance, instead of prompting a user to enter their address, allow them to switch on their devices’ GPS sensors to detect device location.

Another form of pre-filling data is to have linked fields. For example, when an employee enters their name in a form, the fields ‘Designation’ and ‘Department’ is automatically filled based on data retrieved from your ERP.

7) Test the Dragons (or App) Before the Final Battle

Daenerys’ progress towards Westeros included several smaller attacks where she tested out her dragon’s true power. This is a fine example of the need to test excessively before finally placing your mobile forms in users’ hands.

Your main focus is to deliver a good use experience so that employees don’t delete the app containing your mobile forms. So, test your forms across systems, screens, and setups. You can establish user testing groups as well, and use their feedback to improve your forms’ user experience.

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to create sophisticated mobile forms which effectively substitute your paper-based ones.

And if you enjoyed this season Game of Thrones and this special edition of #FridayFacts, help us spread these tips by sharing them with your friends and colleagues.

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