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Web Form Design: Modern Solutions and Creative Ideas


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 Link

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.

Softmail2‘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.


Swfir4 also uses an envelope as a metaphor.


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


TheWatchMakerProject6 impresses with a nice and unusual design. The form is placed at the right hand side of the latest comments.


Frexy.com8 with a nice and clean solution.


Flingmedia10 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.

Screenshot11 — the web form is huge and fills the whole layout width. The font-size and the size of input fields are chosen accordingly.


2. Creative solutions Link

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.com12 takes a look at the contact form from a quite different perspective. The effect is created using Flash.


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.


Chemistry Recruitments14 uses a folder, stick-it-notes and few sheet of paper.


Alexandru Cohaniuc16 presents a huge web form with a sketch and a stamp.


Tony Yoo18‘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!


Qwert City20 enables users to send the designer a “postcard”…


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


BubblesSOC22 has a ribbon on the top of a large, laaarge, really laaaaarge web form.


3. Use illustrations to brighten up the form Link

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 Designs24 tries to impress visitors with a busy mailman. Doesn’t he actually have enough to do?


X-Grafik.sk26 with a mail stamp from Slovakia.


Kgoule.com28 has a friendly buddy who invites visitors to post a comment.

Screenshot29 (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.


4. Integrate more functions Link

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.

InfectedFX31 has a rather complex web form with hints, options and buttons. The form integrates a WYSIWIG-editor into the textarea.


Sidebarcreative.com33 offers a a slider potential clients can use to limit the project budget.


5. Use icons to communicate required information Link

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 Theme35 uses simply symbols to indicate the required information.


Bouctoubou.com37 has very basic and simple symbols. However, they manage to make the form more interesting.


6. Hand-writing and grunge in use Link

We’ve already written about the popularity of hand-drawing39 and grunge40 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.

Redblu41 is presented as a sheet of newspaper. To get to the contact form you need to drag the newspaper accordingly.


Fivecentstand43 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.


Pointofe.com45 with a web form presented as a stick-it-note. The font-size should probably be increased.


Swiths.com47 with a vintage design. The hover-effect is provided as well.


7. Experimental solutions Link

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.com49 offers a nice-looking and compact solution: a newsletter-box in the sidebar.


Different language — different style. On Booloob.com51 the submit-button is placed on the left hand side of the form.


Paregonta.com53: cubism meets minimalism. Colorful yet extremely compact form which uses little space. This is a contact form.


Sunmatecushions.com55 with a really different style which somehow fits in the design.


Well, why not? Wallpaper for the textarea on GeekAndHype.com57.


Revota.com59 is dark and shady, but uses a light hover-effect to display the current field.


Catydesign61 is also dark. The form impresses with a clever placement of the hints.

Screenshot62 this comment form is hard to overlook.


MyMileMarker63: the web form gone in width. Sometimes horizontal approach is more useful than the standard vertical approach.


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.


Xyarea.be65: unusual and original. This is probably the thinnest newsletter box in the world.


Further Resources Link

Footnotes Link

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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, online workshops and loves solving complex UX, front-end and performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    Very cool

  3. 4

    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

  4. 5

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

  5. 6

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

    Have a nice day,


  6. 7

    OMG, thank you so much for the feature, I’m very glad to see my blog here!
    Thanks again, Joffrey (

  7. 8

    Nice list. As always, great visual inspiration.
    One bone to pick: 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.

  8. 9

    April 17, 2008 9:44 am

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

  9. 10

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

  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.

  11. 12

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

  12. 13

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

  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?

  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!

  15. 17

    Another great list, thanks for the inspiration guys :)

  16. 18

    How interesting, this post gave me some great ideas.

  17. 19

    This one should have been part of the selection (we created it here at 1|1 Studio for a Tourism Agency Website):

  18. 20

    Your people are smashingly amazing ..GREAT!!!

    Keep it Up

  19. 21

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

  20. 22

    One Winged Angel

    April 17, 2008 10:05 pm

    Check out my comment form at 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*

  21. 23

    Nice ideas !

  22. 24


  23. 25

    Great designs – innovative and inspirational…

  24. 26

    Green wheels Blog

    April 18, 2008 8:22 am

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

  25. 27

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

  26. 28

    Great collection. Thanks!

  27. 29

    Great post

  28. 30

    Anthony Ettinger

    April 18, 2008 10:33 am

    great examples of form designs.

  29. 31

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

  30. 32



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