W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-forms@w3.org > February 2002

RE: forms

From: Dan Dennedy <DDennedy@digitalbang.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 08:46:36 -0500
Message-ID: <C96072E096CC0D4EA606C1119F51858A01DB71@intrabang01.digitalbang.com>
To: "Paul Sagi" <pksagi@start.com.au>, <www-forms@w3.org>
Thank you for your rant about forms; I am sympathetic. Unfortunately,
what you describe has little to do with technology esp. XForms. There is
nothing in XForms or even current HTML forms to prevent a website from
disclosing what information will be requested. Forms processors can
retain state if they choose. At least, many e-commerce shopping carts
retain state across sessions, right?

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Paul Sagi [mailto:pksagi@start.com.au]
> Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2002 9:45 PM
> To: www-forms@w3.org
> Subject: forms
> it should be possible to view an online form and see what information
> is requested, before filling out the form; rather than fill out a
> page, click on "next" or "continue," fill out the next page... before
> discovering what info will be requested. further, it should be
> possible
> to interrupt filling out the form and return to it later, preferably
> at the point one left off, thus mimicking hardcopy. until and unless
> online forms conform to the characteristics i've stated above, online
> education, banking, ordering of merchandise and other online
> activities cannot and will not reach their potential. many online
> transactions are abandoned partway through. why? it's those damn
> online forms that require filling out of many boxes, not allowing
> proceeding to the next page until the form is complete, not allowing
> viewing the form before filling it out and not allowing going back and
> forth through the form.  those characteristics were thought to be
> great, force people to fill things out in an orderly consistent way
> and data is easy to obtain. but people resist control and have
> curiosity.  they also have lives outside filling out forms, phones
> ringing, kids coming home from school, etc., that demand they abandon
> the forms for awhile, to return to them later. people also want to be
> able to make informed decisions, which they cannot when information is
> hidden in forms and cannot be accessed because they have not completed
> the previous page of the form. asking for completion of a page of a
> form before showing the next page of the form is saying "i'll give you
> some information if you'll first give me some information." that flies
> in the face of peoples' expectations about informed consent and
> informed choices. imagine the anger and frustration of someone who
> fills out 4 pages of forms only to find on the last page that they are
> required to provide information they consider private and confidential
> and don't want to give. what do they do? abandon the transaction in
> disgust and don't return to that website. they also become reluctant
> to deal with similar forms on other sites. once bitten, twice shy.
> Fertilise a mind - plant an idea.
> __________________________________________________________________
> Get your free Australian email account at http://www.start.com.au
Received on Friday, 1 February 2002 08:46:47 UTC

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