It seems the best practise when it comes to forms is to lay the fields out in a one column layout - should this be true for fields that are related to each other?

For example, would a suitable exception to this be First name / last name and date of birth? As they are commonly expressed on a single line, e.g:

[First name] [Last name]
[Job title]
[DOB - Day][DOB - Month][DOB - Year]

Or would it still be optimal to do:

[First name]
[Last name]
[Job title]
[DOB - Day]
[DOB - Month]
[DOB - Year]

And is there any research behind which ever is best?

1 Answer 1


First, I agree with you on the single column layout since the Mobile First Approach helps in many ways [Why Should I Design for Mobile First].

On grouping related fields horizontally I think it will be a matter of:

  • Affordance
  • Consistent user experience across devices


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For Small Screens:

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The fields you mentioned above Firstname and Lastname can become Fullname. And DOB can be a single field with supportive html5 patterns and placeholders.

  • Up-voted for points about combining Name fields into Full name (unfortunately, my form is for searching a database where names are split so I can't apply it). For Date of birth, GDS has found that using separate text fields (with type=number) has been most successful - designnotes.blog.gov.uk/2013/12/05/asking-for-a-date-of-birth
    – Jon Kyte
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 13:19

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