A review by Web Teacher of
Fancy Form Design by Jina Bolton, Tim Connell and Derek Featherstone is from Sitepoint Book (2009). This is really an excellent little book. It gives you tips on planning and designing a form that is both attractive and usable. It provides information on structuring the form using standards-based HTML. Both usability and accessibility features are built into the form structure as a matter of practice in this book. You’d hardly expect less with authors of the caliber of the three who worked on the book.
Since this book is just about one thing, forms, you learn some things you might not learn in a book that treated forms as a small part of a larger whole. For example, there is an interesting discussion about when to use legends with fieldsets, and when you’d be better off not using legends. You learn about the types of error messages that are most useful in form design. The fine points of labels are discussed.
In the chapter on styling the form with CSS, there are some excellent tips for form design. Everything from ideas for styling with icons, sprites, and styling widgets is included in the CSS chapter.
The book reads fast, the code examples are right there and are clearly explained.
Summary: A must-have book for the form designer.