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I am creating several forms which will be completed by a manager in order to make changes to an employee's contract (For example changing hours/Promotion/Leaver),

The first few fields on each form are for the name & id number of the staff member effected. These are mandatory fields.

Once I have this information Is it a good idea to make use of this information in other parts of the form?

As an example on the forms we have the questions:

"How many hours does the employee work?" and "When is the employee's last working day?"

As I will know the employee's name by this point (for these examples lets assume he is called Bob) would it be better to put:

"How many hours does Bob work?" and "When is Bob's last working day?"

I am using InfoPath to create the forms and they will be filled in in a browser.

I used the example of forms which can have an effect on a persons contract in my examples however we will also be creating other forms which do not have any legal connotations around them, therefore I would be interested to hear whether this makes any difference to the layout.

  • If I see a form more then once I like it to look the same all the time. If the naming changed based on the persons name it could look different based on design. You have people with short and very long names. Plus I would think you saw me as an idiot, that I need a constant reminder of the name I entered 2seconds ago. – Hugo Delsing Jul 21 '14 at 13:32
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An alternative to personalizing the questions would be to provide the person's information on the page someplace. Above the form or in a right column, for example. This makes it available without mucking up the field labels.

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  • I showed this example to the clients and they liked it so think I will go with this. Thanks Ken – EdHunter Jul 22 '14 at 7:56
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The form is making changes to an employees 'contract' and in my opinion (as a manager) any forms with legal implications should remain as formal as possible, even in this instance.

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  • The forms which could have legal implications are not all that we are currently working on, Therefore how about for non-legal forms? – EdHunter Jul 21 '14 at 10:10
  • @EdHunter I completely agree with Matt-Obee about omitting the word employee or their name, unless clarification is really necessary perhaps in another part of the form. As for the non legal stuff, I would still prefer any employee/company business data entry to be kept formal, although I am a bit 'old school' Current trends may be more relaxed about this. – ceefin Jul 21 '14 at 10:24
  • @EdHunter maybe you could ask the clients concerned? – ceefin Jul 21 '14 at 10:24
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On one hand, clearly stating the employee's name in each question makes things explicitly clear and provides reassuring confirmation that the manager has entered the correct staff ID.

On the other hand, I suspect this repetition will become frustrating. It also makes the labels longer and harder to scan. Once the context has been set in the first questions, it shouldn't really be necessary to repeat the name throughout the form.

It would definitely make sense to repeat the name if the form was collecting information about more than one person but is less useful if the form is only collecting information about a single employee.

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  • At the moment we are repeating "The employee" in each question which does mean that using the name instead results in a shorter label. – EdHunter Jul 21 '14 at 10:11
  • @EdHunter I wouldn't phrase the labels as questions at all. Rather than "When is the employee's last working day?" or "When is Bob's last working day?" which is unnecessarily verbose, I would simply say "Last working day". – Matt Obee Jul 21 '14 at 10:14
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    I would agree with you however the powers that be how stated that they want the questions to be verbose. – EdHunter Jul 21 '14 at 10:16

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