Common Mistakes / Swisscom & Extranet Swiss Bank
 
Example 6: Forms, two study case; Swisscom & Swiss Bank Extranet
Site: Not available (one has been, fortunately, improved, one is in a protected area)
Date: 20 october 2003

The case:

Case a) Swisscom: The objective of the form is to determine if your contract is aligned with your actual usage. Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to fill in the form since it is lacking (big time !) of consistency. Column entries are not always described, units (for the time column) are not visible, so you don't know if you have to enter hours, minutes or seconds, and while you enter time for a specific time range of the day, you don't enter corresponding amounts...
Not to mention the spelling mistake ("préstation" instead of "prestation").
As a result, a normal user will probably have to spend more than 5 minutes on this form to find out, which is far too much ! The user will then probably interpret it as "Swisscom is providing you a way to optimize your contract, but actually doesn't really want you to do so..." Bad ROI, isn't it ? Fortunately, and to the credit of Swisscom, it was removed and a new (4 step) process has replaced it (see it at http://www.swisscom-mobile.ch/sp/7NJAAAAA-xsp-fr.jsp)

Case b) Extranet Swiss Bank: The objective here is to provide the necessary information to initiate a payment. The very good point about this form (and the related process) is that the number of entries has been minimized to the lowest level. The bad point is that using the "tab" key will lead you to the field at the right first, then back to the left, and then down... Since users usually read from left to right and top to down, it breaks the common rule of reading directions (and by extension filling in forms)...

Errors / Recommendations:

Case a) Well, the very bad form has been replaced by a 4 step process... It's now more complicated. I leave it up to you for testing... and making recommendations

Case b) Just reverse the order of field to be filled (click on the thumbnail to see it)

Screenshots (click to enlarge in a new window)

Swisscom
Swiss Bank Extranet
Swisscom
Swiss Bank extranet
Important note: you can find below some example taken at a certain point of time. It might be that it has changed in between. We are (therefore) using screenshots. Day of "recording" and webadresses are mentioned.