Web Form Design: Modern Solutions and Creative Ideas

Advertisement

Web form is often the main communication channel between visitors and site owners. Feedback is always important which is why it’s necessary to make sure that web forms are easy to understand and intuitive to use. Nevertheless, even in form design one can afford some healthy portion of creativity.

Web forms don’t have to be boring and, using CSS or Flash, you can easily make sure that they are appealing and effective. To get noticed, you need to come up with something unique and interesting — symbols, icons, colors, position or the size of web form are often used to achieve interesting design solutions. We’ve searched for some examples and we’ve found them. Creative, original and unusual web forms.

Below we present over 40 (really) beautiful examples of web forms as well as modern solutions and creative ideas related to web form design. Some of the examples are Flash-based; however, in most cases you can easily create similar designs with pure CSS and (X)HTML.

Also consider our previous article

1. Clean, Simple and Beautiful Solutions

Since web form is probably one of the most important sections on the web-site, it’s necessary for you as a designer to make sure that visitors can easily understand what information they need to fill into the form fields. Complex and long web forms increase the cognitive load for users — they are just harder to deal with. In this context, preferring simple and clean solutions seems like a sound approach. However, if the form was designed with an attention to details and looks good, it’s also reasonable to use some attractive imagery in the forms.

Softmail‘s newsletter-box comes from Brazil and displays an excellent integration of the message-icon into the form design. The submit-button is clear and attractive. This is a creative design.

Screenshot

Swfir also uses an envelope as a metaphor.

Screenshot

Handwriting in use on Katrin Wegmann’s site. Attractive, eye-catching and playful design which perfectly manages to convey its function to the users.

Screenshot

TheWatchMakerProject impresses with a nice and unusual design. The form is placed at the right hand side of the latest comments.

Screenshot

Frexy.com with a nice and clean solution.

Screenshot

Flingmedia uses a sliding contact form. Depending on the visitor’s intention (general comment, new project request etc.), user can slide to a web form which addresses his/her interests.

Screenshot

Envero.org — the web form is huge and fills the whole layout width. The font-size and the size of input fields are chosen accordingly.

Screenshot

2. Creative solutions

Although web-forms are supposed to enable users to get in touch with site owners, quite often designers risk creative solutions and offer layouts visitors wouldn’t actually expect from a boring, standard web form they’ve used to over years. Many different metaphors are used. Here is an overview of some interesting ones.

Created201.com takes a look at the contact form from a quite different perspective. The effect is created using Flash.

Screenshot

Ok, this is really different. If you’d like to get in touch with Edward Pistachio, you’ll need to solve a puzzle first. This approach isn’t applicable for blogs or business web-sites. However, it perfectly fits to the concept of the site. The visitors are amazed.

Screenshot

Chemistry Recruitments uses a folder, stick-it-notes and few sheet of paper.

Screenshot

Alexandru Cohaniuc presents a huge web form with a sketch and a stamp.

Screenshot

Tony Yoo‘s contact form shows the contact details on the left hand side. No happy talk, just getting to the point. And some designers need an extra-page for contact details!

Screenshot

Qwert City enables users to send the designer a “postcard”…

… so did Wildvuur.com (currently offline) — the web form was perfectly integrated into the site layout.

Screenshot

BubblesSOC has a ribbon on the top of a large, laaarge, really laaaaarge web form.

Screenshot

3. Use illustrations to brighten up the form

When a user clicked on the link which leads to a web form, he or she is one step away of getting in touch with site owners. Some designers try to make sure visitors actually fill in the form by using attractive characters and illustrations which serve the purpose of making users feel more comfortable with the form.

Intuitive Designs tries to impress visitors with a busy mailman. Doesn’t he actually have enough to do?

Screenshot

X-Grafik.sk with a mail stamp from Slovakia.

Screenshot

Kgoule.com has a friendly buddy who invites visitors to post a comment.

Screenshot

Dressfordialogue.com (the design is different now) uses a tiny illustration at the top right of the form. Nevertheless, it works. Sometimes a tiny detail is enough.

Screenshot

4. Integrate more functions

Searching for creative web forms, we’ve observed some new functionalities which haven’t been that popular last year. Among them are WYSIWIG-editors and sliders. Editors are used to provide users with rich text-editing for text formatting, different header levels and images. A slider can be used to define the budget limits for a given project.

InfectedFX has a rather complex web form with hints, options and buttons. The form integrates a WYSIWIG-editor into the textarea.

Screenshot

Sidebarcreative.com offers a a slider potential clients can use to limit the project budget.

Screenshot

5. Use icons to communicate required information

From the usability point of view, there is nothing more painful than a long web form with plain-text labels and without any visual indicators. Such forms are boring, unattractive and uncomfortable to use. You can design web forms better. In fact, not much is required. Often icons are used to visually indicate the information required from the user to fill the form.

DesignDisease WordPress Theme uses simply symbols to indicate the required information.

Screenshot

Bouctoubou.com has very basic and simple symbols. However, they manage to make the form more interesting.

Screenshot

6. Hand-writing and grunge in use

We’ve already written about the popularity of hand-drawing and grunge in modern web design. Such design elements are also being used in web forms as they are always unique and convey the personality of the designer. Particularly Flash-based solutions prefer this approach.

Redblu is presented as a sheet of newspaper. To get to the contact form you need to drag the newspaper accordingly.

Screenshot

Fivecentstand offers a Flash-based solution which is seamlessly integrated in the overall site design. It might be difficult for new users to find the form, though.

Screenshot

Pointofe.com with a web form presented as a stick-it-note. The font-size should probably be increased.

Screenshot

Swiths.com with a vintage design. The hover-effect is provided as well.

Screenshot

7. Experimental solutions

Below you’ll find an overview of some unusual solutions which can serve as a starting point for your further design. Not all of them might look good, but they have something and you may want to improve the ideas further.

Adorama.com offers a nice-looking and compact solution: a newsletter-box in the sidebar.

Screenshot

Different language — different style. On Booloob.com the submit-button is placed on the left hand side of the form.

Screenshot

Paregonta.com: cubism meets minimalism. Colorful yet extremely compact form which uses little space. This is a contact form.

Screenshot

Sunmatecushions.com with a really different style which somehow fits in the design.

Screenshot

Well, why not? Wallpaper for the textarea on GeekAndHype.com.

Screenshot

Revota.com is dark and shady, but uses a light hover-effect to display the current field.

Screenshot

Catydesign is also dark. The form impresses with a clever placement of the hints.

Screenshot

Designorati.com: this comment form is hard to overlook.

Screenshot

MyMileMarker: the web form gone in width. Sometimes horizontal approach is more useful than the standard vertical approach.

Screenshot

Jaroslav Cerný shows how to combine an e-mail with a web form. The form isn’t online any longer, but it’s definitely worth mentioning.

Screenshot

Xyarea.be: unusual and original. This is probably the thinnest newsletter box in the world.

Screenshot

Further Resources

  • Blog Comment Forms
    A growing collection of examples of blog comments forms by Christian Watson.

↑ Back to top

Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops and loves solving complex problems in large companies. Get in touch.

  1. 1
  2. 3

    Smashing Magazine = best Web design resource online… OMG u guys rock :)

    The top most form got me confused a bit.. .till I read it was from Brazil lol

    3
  3. 4

    Good stuff, but I like this comment form the most. :)

    2
  4. 5

    Thanks for sharing! Great article and very important for UI Design!

    Have a nice day,

    lukas

    1
  5. 6

    OMG, thank you so much for the feature, I’m very glad to see my blog here!
    Thanks again, Joffrey (http://www.geekandhype.com)

    1
  6. 7

    Nice list. As always, great visual inspiration.
    One bone to pick: Paregonta.com is neither Cubist nor Minimal. I think the words you’re looking for are squarish and simple. Cubism is about deconstructing an object from different perspectives and then reconstructing. Minimalism has to take negative space into serious consideration, something I feel people leave out of consideration when applying the term.
    Although some of the forms are certainly eye-catching, you also need to consider the form’s place in the entire site design’s hierarchy. Often the contact form is not the most important part of a web page.

    2
  7. 8

    Thanks for featuring our mailman! He’s tired, but he says he likes this job more than the last because he doesn’t have to worry about being bitten by dogs anymore.

    0
  8. 9

    RedesignYourBiz.com

    April 17, 2008 9:44 am

    Thanks a ton… u’ve always been the best resource for webdesigners like us… thanks again.

    2
  9. 10

    Great article, but I would have liked to have the links pointing directly to where the forms are.

    1
  10. 11

    Khang Toh from Simplebucket

    April 17, 2008 10:58 am

    Hey, don’t left out our upload form, I think it’s one of a kind for upload forms.

    http://Simplebucket.com

    1
  11. 12

    Awesome article!
    Keep up the good work! You guys rule!

    2
  12. 13

    Something very simple, but pretty different to the ones listed above: super minimal contact form.

    1
  13. 15

    I see multiple callouts of required fields, but how do you guys feel about only calling out optional fields when 8 out of 10 fields are required and only 2 are optional?

    2
  14. 16

    This is a great post, but I would love to see a similar one, about styling file input fields! None of the above forms uses file box, and styling this one is really a challenge!

    0
  15. 17

    Another great list, thanks for the inspiration guys :)

    1
  16. 18

    How interesting, this post gave me some great ideas.
    Thanks!

    0
  17. 19

    This one should have been part of the selection (we created it here at 1|1 Studio for a Tourism Agency Website): http://www.ctm-argentina.com.ar/contactus.php

    0
  18. 20

    Your people are smashingly amazing ..GREAT!!!

    Keep it Up

    0
  19. 21

    Really beautiful forms, thanks a lot for collecting and showing!

    0
  20. 22

    One Winged Angel

    April 17, 2008 10:05 pm

    Check out my comment form at http://www.owastudio.com. However, for the contact form, I’ve tried to style it with the same style as the comment form but some errors occurred so I’ll try next time. *Having final exams now*

    0
  21. 23

    Nice ideas !

    0
  22. 24

    Cool…post…

    0
  23. 25

    Great designs – innovative and inspirational…

    1
  24. 26

    Green wheels Blog

    April 18, 2008 8:22 am

    Wow, these are great as ever! Love the Edward Pistachio, Chemistry Recruitments and Pointofe.com sticky note. Excellent inspiration as ever guys -Gren Wheels Blog Team

    -1
  25. 27

    muchas opciones, eso es bueno.
    QuintoH es·tu·dio2

    0
  26. 28

    Great collection. Thanks!

    0
  27. 29

    Great post

    0
  28. 30

    Anthony Ettinger

    April 18, 2008 10:33 am

    great examples of form designs.

    0
  29. 31

    If you would like to learn how long visitors stay on your form pages and where they clicked check out Pagealizer

    0
  30. 32

    Stunning.

    0
  31. 33

    Impressive!

    0
  32. 34

    amazing… The Team of Smashing Magazine works a lot and hard, again. Many, many nice ideas… Thank you for your great work ;)

    Ralph

    0
  33. 35

    Thanks so much for the article, will definately be drawing some inspiration to spice up the form on my site

    0
  34. 36

    Impressive & Creative.
    Thank you! :)

    0
  35. 37

    You can allso check our Longa Visual & Design Studio contact form on the Index page and under Contact http://www.longa.de

    0
  36. 38

    Those forms are soo beautiful. I really need to get more creative with my web forms.

    0
  37. 39

    Nilarian Designs

    April 21, 2008 12:10 pm

    Very cool. Well, just for viewers info. that Booloob.com is in Farsi on Iranian language.

    0
  38. 40

    Neat stuff!

    0
  39. 41

    Great designs. I designed & programed this one: link. I hope you like it.

    0
  40. 42

    Cool, nice article and perfect timing for my new project. Thanks for this guys.

    0
  41. 43

    thanks for the wonderful resources

    0
  42. 44

    good website

    0
  43. 46

    Excellent list! as always
    We made this one two or three years ago, trying to do a different form:
    l una lunera festival

    Una lista excelente!! como siempre
    Nosotros hicimos éste hace dos o tres años con el fin de mostrar un formulario distinto:
    luna lunera festival

    0
  44. 47

    excellent post, thanks

    0
  45. 48

    Awesome read. Excellent variety, really makes me drive for that “out of box” thinking even for as small a element as a contact us form.

    Keep going SM!!!

    Cheers

    0
  46. 49

    Created 201 website is genius! I am green with envy

    0
  47. 50

    Smashing Magazine is becoming the firs place I look for inspiration.

    Keep up the quality work.

    0
  48. 51

    a cooooooooooooooooollllll! :-p

    0
  49. 52

    What is the Trackback-URL for this Article?

    0
  50. 53

    Great examples. I have seen some awesome works at bestwebforms.com. Thanks

    0
  51. 54

    You may want to see this forms and compare.
    Link: bestwebforms.com

    -1
  52. 55

    Regarding the booloob.com example: the form has submit button on the left because it is written in a language that reads from right to left. In English this placement would probably be rather unintuitive.

    0
  53. 56

    very much i need this type of design

    THANKYOU !

    0
  54. 57

    First of all, congratulations for your great and useful website.

    I would like to know if you are interested

    0
  55. 58

    Thanx buddy….. really good job done i found lot of design from here…

    Abzal ABbas

    0
  56. 59

    Thank you very much.

    Give me some new ideas…

    0
  57. 60

    Wow que mentes tan brillantes los cabrones que hicieron estos diseños.
    saludos desde mexico.
    o en ingles jeje see you later

    1
  58. 61

    Manuel Martinez Campagna

    November 1, 2009 5:42 pm

    En mercuria.com.ar podes encontrar un javascript sencillo para reemplazar los campos de un formulario con imagenes

    0
  59. 62

    Great post. Some of these form designers could greatly benefit from a study like the following though: http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2006/07/label-placement-in-forms.php

    0
  60. 63

    Thanks smashy. It came in very useful…:)

    0
  61. 64

    AWESOME! as usual. :)
    SM is rocks…….

    Thanks,
    Harry

    0
  62. 65

    Thanks Smashing! This was very helpful! You should make a donation section also this would be very useful.

    0
  63. 66

    Hay
    really cool designs

    0
  64. 67

    This list really helped me… designing is difficult, if you’re not used to it… Thanks.

    0
  65. 68

    Great article, it would be nice to see some examples of help icons in forms too, if anyone has some!

    0
  66. 69

    Gr8 collection…thanks for sharing it…

    0
  67. 70

    Nice! I was looking for contact form designs …. I wanna build a complete customizable one! Good job!

    0
  68. 71

    awesome work!!!

    0
  69. 72
  70. 73

    i go to change my contact us/request form in my website, can one advice me more or creat me one
    irtouring.com

    0
  71. 74

    Flash Form Builder lets you select from hundreds of templates, customize each form to the look and feel of your site and auto install virtually anywhere on the web. All done online with nothing to download or purchase. No programming or tech knowledge needed. Updates and edits are a snap! Simply editt your form and click update to change your forms. No re-embed of the code. Check it out: http://www.hotforms123.com

    0
  72. 75

    i agree this was a very good topic, of course the most of them are ugly , but the two first are really nice the both are good

    0
  73. 76

    Very nice collection. I like the uniqueness of design.

    I used http://www.quickwebform.com. It maybe a great add to your collection.

    0
  74. 77

    Well, I want to introduce, under the following

    0
  75. 78

    very nice shared.

    0
  76. 79

    Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes

    August 19, 2010 1:16 am

    Smashing post!!!!

    0
  77. 80

    Very nice collection. The company that designed my logo had a nice looking contact form, check it out at logodoctor.co.uk/index.php/contact

    0
  78. 81

    What about some Iran tour site

    0
  79. 82

    I really like these examples. They have given me some inspiration on how to tweek my own. Thanks for sharing.

    0
  80. 83

    stunning content brother i really liked it.

    0
  81. 84

    Very good collection of form design.

    0
  82. 85

    it’s very useful for me thanks to smashing magazine

    0
  83. 86

    Nice blog post. To properly utilize and increase ideal performance for the forms, you do need to take into consideration few other things as well.

    http://blog.9thsphere.com/blog/effective-website-forms-101

    The above blog post talks about Effective Website Forms and includes discussions on best practices such as asking only what you need, being able to track your form conversions through some sort of an analytics tool and to even add a level of trust and credibility in the submissions forms. I thought it would be valuable to share in case someone was further interested in developing not just good looking, but also forms that convert.

    1
  84. 87

    Awesome designs. Thank you.

    If any readers want some general form design tips, look here…

    flysoftware.com/support/top_10_form_design_tips.asp

    0
  85. 88

    pls check the links, few links are not working please update it.

    0
  86. 89

    Great.. I found one of this really useful and easy to inspire for me.. keep up the good work.. thanks for a nice post..

    0
  87. 90

    Nice post.

    1
  88. 91

    Excellent collection, really inspiring. I usually go for the principle “seek elegance in simplicity”, however forms are a territory of continuous experimentation.
    For designing dynamic web forms that can be styled with CSS customization, I have used 123 Contact Form generator with great results. These guys are truly amazing, I recommend!

    1
  89. 92

    Beautiful form design.
    Thanks for sharing!

    -1
  90. 93

    thank you for sharing your valuable knowledges with all of us . .

    1
  91. 94

    These are some nice looking forms! We use http://feedbackbutton.org – it’s easy to embed and simple to use!

    0

Leave a Comment

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic! Please keep in mind that comments are moderated and rel="nofollow" is in use. So, please do not use a spammy keyword or a domain as your name, or else it will be deleted. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation instead. Thanks for dropping by!

↑ Back to top