I came across the ELMER form design guidelines published by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry, which gives a pretty comprehensive and reasonably well documented set of guidelines for the design of forms on government websites, which I guess can be generalized to public transaction workflows. However, I don't know if the published date of 2006 means that some of the concepts and ideas are a little bit out of date, especially in reference to mobile device design patterns.

Has anyone else come across similar government standards and what are their thoughts? I suggest that there should be similar standards drafted by organizations like UXPA to set a baseline standard so we don't have to keep debating certain questions here.

  • There's always room for debate in UX. :) – DA01 Jul 21 '14 at 2:49

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has created and maintains a wonderful website: http://www.usability.gov. It contains a wealth of UX resources of various types, including the ones from a government organization perspective (see section "Guidance and Government-specific Resources" at http://www.usability.gov/how-to-and-tools/index.html). Hope it helps.


Information applicable to forms, is somewhat scattered across usability.gov site. However, in my opinion, some relevant sections are the following:

In addition to usability.gov site, the following non-US resources may be useful:

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    That's right, I almost forgot about that one. Although I think it would be good if they provided more examples to go with the guidelines, as the ELMER guide does. – Michael Lai Jul 22 '14 at 22:38
  • @MichaelLai: Usability.gov has a much wider scope in terms of coverage of various UX aspects (dimensions). Feel free to upvote, if you find my answer valuable :-). – Aleksandr Blekh Jul 23 '14 at 11:30
  • Can you provide the reference to the specific section about forms in your answer, just for those that want to reference the answer quickly? Thanks. – Michael Lai Jul 23 '14 at 22:44
  • @MichaelLai: Updated the answer per your request. – Aleksandr Blekh Jul 24 '14 at 1:18

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