I have a long form that will require the user to print it out and mail it in (the signature is legally required and submitting it online isn't an option at this point). The form is to change various information about their account. There are six sections with multiple input fields. Most of the time people will only want to change one section but there are situations where they may want to change more.
I was leaning toward an accordion form based off of this article and the idea of progressive disclosure. But I have two arguments against it:
1) In the article written by Mr. Wroblewski he talks about people not understanding that they need to click the headers. Granted, it is written in 2010, but I could still see that as a problem. Even with an arrow pointing down.
2) I'm also having problems on where to put the "Print Form" button.
If someone is in the accordion section I could put a "Print Form" button within the dropdown, but what if they do want to fill out another section? I can see them clicking it and then printing out multiple forms each time they filled it out.
If I put the "print form" below the accordion and someone is filling out the fields in a dropdown I can't imagine they'll think to look at the bottom of the headers and click the button.
I could have the button in the right sidebar but it'd just be there all by it's lonesome and I think people would be blind to it.
give the users a list one one page, and then build the form on a second so it's more traditional. However, this feels clunky to me.
Combine the two and give them check marks and then show the content below. It'd feel more like a standard form layout and they may be drawn to the print button this way:
So, I guess my overall question is, what's the best way to present a long form with entire sections that are optional while presenting the "print form" button in a highly noticeable way?