Image link to www.joelsklar.comPrinciples of Web Design Online Companion

Table of Contents

Chapter 12 - Working with Forms

This chapter covers the HTML forms elements. Forms let you build interactive Web pages that collect information from a user and process it on the Web server. You can use forms to gather information and create databases, or send customized responses to your users. Forms collect data but do not process data. The data processing must be performed on the Web server that hosts the form. Forms are the basis for online commerce. Without them users would not be able to enter customer address, credit card, and ordering information on the Web.

When you complete this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Understand how forms work
  • Understand forms syntax
  • Build forms within tables
  • Build and test a sample form

Form Examples

Exercise File

  • Download the file form.htm to work on the "Building and Testing a Sample Form" project starting on page 344.
  • The URL for the form is Enter this value in the action attribute of the form.

Individual Case Project

Build a user feedback form for your project Web site. You can refer to the sample feedback form in Chapter 3 for ideas. Customize the types of questions you ask to match the content of your site. Create both scaled questions and open-ended questions for your users. For example, ask users to rate the navigation of your site on a scale of 1 to 5, and also include a text area input where they write about their experience of navigating your Web site. Although you will not be able to activate the form (because you don't have an appropriate script to process the data), you can demonstrate the types of questions you would ask users to find out more about their habits when they visit your site.

Team Case Project

Each team member creates and submits to the instructor his or her own feedback form, as described in the Individual Case Project above. You are free to design the form any way you choose, but it must include the navigation characteristics, typographic specifications, and design conventions of your project Web site.

Then meet as a team and choose the best features, questions, and design characteristics from each member's submitted form. Create a new form that combines these features and add it to your project Web site.