I'm working with a client who's product is a large information website. Think like an encyclopedia - they come there to read content and educate themselves.

The vast majority of users just read the webpages on their phone or desktop, but a very small handful prefer to print hard copies (we don't have access to usability testing with these users).

A couple of the encyclopedic pages have small interactive forms embedded within the content - a calculator of sorts with a text input field, slider, and calculate button.

What conventions have other used (in absence of being able to usability test) to handle interactive element in the midst of text content when printing or generating a PDF?

I'm thinking about for the print CSS and PDF generation:

  • skipping the interactive elements entirely (the rest of the page text does not directly refer to the interactive portion) Illustrating the
  • interactive portion with overlay text indicating along the lines of "interactive portion for digital display only"
  • Illustrating the interactive portion as is

1 Answer 1


Are you 100% that users will print for the sole purpose of reading the content and there are no cases where the user interacts with the forms and would like to print the "results" of the form interaction for reference?

In the past I have designed a print view for a content website with long articles and the users would print for reading so in that case anything not related to the post like navigation, related posts thumbnails and anything else was removed and we confirmed with users that that was their purpose. In your case you would need to determine somehow what the implications are for the decision.

  • It's rare but there's good legitimacy to what you're describing. For this context (thanks for the suggestion) I'll retain the form in the print experience. Aug 24, 2022 at 14:13

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