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Chapter 9. Forms > Creating Effective Forms

9.11. Creating Effective Forms

Properly done, a form can provide an effective user interface for your readers. With some server-side programming tricks, you can use forms to personalize the documents that you present to readers and thereby significantly increase the value of your pages on the Web.

9.11.1. Browser Constraints

Unlike other graphical user interfaces, browser displays are static. They have little or no capability for real-time data validation, for example, or to update the values in a form based upon user input, giving users no help or guidance.[6] Hence, poorly designed web forms can be difficult to fill out.

[6] This is not entirely true. While neither HTML nor XHTML provide for data validation and user guidance, it is possible to attach Java or JavaScript applets to your form elements that do a very nice job of validating form data, updating form fields based upon user input, and guiding users through your forms.


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