I recently tripped over some fields on this sign-up form:

type DNA

“If no, please type DNA” so naturally I start typing ATCG AATT CCTC TATT GTTG GATC ATAT… (rim shot!)

I figure DNA means “Does Not Apply,” but it’s also strange that answering “No” to the form question above still requires manual entry into the field below. This “No” then “type DNA” sequence shows up twice on the form. It’s odd, unfamiliar, and confusing. If anything, “n/a” would probably be recognized by more people than “DNA.”

When you build your forms be clear. Think about what you’re asking, why you’re asking, how you’re asking for it, and where you’re asking for it. All these little things matter—especially on long forms. Minor issues on long forms begin to stack up pretty quickly. Remember, copywriting is interface design.