Forms are the primary way that users interact with web sites, yet until now there has not been a book dedicated to them. Until now.
“Web Form Design” by Luke W. Overall is a highly useful book full of actionable practices based on real research.
This is very much a “best practices” guide. It is a quick read and delivers great information in few pages. There are no coding examples and few mentions of specific technologies; if you are involved in web form design in any capacity, you have no excuse for not reading this book.
The book reminds me of the “Defensive Design for the Web” book in that every chapter is short and delivers clear checkpoints.
One thing that becomes clear in this book is that there are no “hard-and-fast rules for form design. Whenever a question like, “What is the best way to do …?” comes up, as Luke says frequently in his book, the answer is “It depends”. What the book does give you is a way to ask the right questions so that you can get the best form design possible based on your particular situation. He also point out de-facto best practices for design problems if they exist.
Overall this book is the best single reference on form design out there and should be in every Designers and Information Architects library.