I'm designing a mobile web form where a user will fill in various personal information and finally add a signature, where users with touch capable devices will be presented with a full screen view where the user writes their signature. However, we need a fallback solution for the users who don't have a touch capable device, a checkbox is what's being considered now. So basically a user taps the checkbox instead of entering their signature for these scenarios.

Question is now how I should lay it out, and what copy I should use to communicate it thoroughly to the user.

The problems I see are either

  • That the checkbox label could quite easy be quite long to communicate its functionality, that is for eg. "If you can't enter a signature check the box to confirm the entered details".
  • That I need to break up the fallback in two steps: "Can't add signature?"-link --> "I confirm the entered details are correct"-checkbox.
  • That I formulate it in a way which makes all users tap it, eg "I confirm that the entered details are correct"-checkbox. But then the non-touch enabled device users could be a bit unsure to whether they've entered all mandatory input or not (which the signature isn't) without trying to continue.

Does anyone have an idea for how to structure this? Or have an insight which would go in favor for one or the other of my listed options?

Here's a WF of my idea for the form:

enter image description here

  • If a simple checkbox is acceptable, why go to the trouble of providing the more complicated signature method as well?
    – Matt Obee
    Dec 1, 2014 at 14:50
  • @MattObee Quite simply because we haven't been able to persuade the client to use a checkbox as standard. They really want those actual signatures... Dec 1, 2014 at 20:24
  • Just curious, what type of mobile devices don't have touch capabilities? Or is the fallback for desktop?
    – gdaniel
    Dec 1, 2014 at 21:19
  • @gdaniel feature phones, with surf capability but with a highlight driven UI where the user navigates on a website using a cross pad and a highlight box is displayed on the item the user focuses on. This product will exist for a wide range of devices, especially in the western region of Asia. Dec 2, 2014 at 8:10
  • @AndroidHustle gotcha!
    – gdaniel
    Dec 2, 2014 at 15:02

3 Answers 3


Usually I would have thought the fallback for signing with a signature is to enter the name.

With that in mind you could simply ask the user to confirm with signature or name, with the default being the signature.

Entering the name would be almost as good as a signature in as much as it's getting the user to accept responsibility by putting their name to something - but it's obviously not as good for ensuring the real user.

However, it's still better than a checkbox since a checkbox doesn't really carry much weight with it - the user doesn't identify with a ticked checkbox as much as they do their name!

You could then reuse the entry box (or swap out similarly sized boxes) depending on whether the user opts for signature or name entry.

You might have to cater for different length names of course :)

enter image description here

  • Hey Roger, thanks for your input! I do like the idea with having a toggle on top. I will try and make out a proposal based on this. The name of the user is however already entered at the top of the form (something you couldn't know of course), so asking for it again doesn't seem very elegant.. I will however look further on the toggle control. Dec 2, 2014 at 8:14

I understand you want to encourage users to sign, and only use the checkbox as a technological fallback.

If so, I like option #2 the best.

Option #1 could work, but would require excellent copy. Option #3 seems a bit over-complicated, and you're also sort of "giving up" to the lower common denominator. This might get fewer signatures.

I think your suggested wireframes are good. However, I would change the location of the link:

  • A life saver for non-touch users is being sandwiched between a huge control element (the signature field) and a loud CTA. the link might need a better stage.
  • Non-touch users are exposed to the signature field (which, again, is pretty big and loud) while it is completely irrelevant for them.

Positioning the link above the signature field would help both these issues, Perhaps inline or right beneath the "Signature" label, as to conserve vertical space. With good copy you could almost make it one cohesive control.


In my opinion, asking a user to sign even on a touch screen device is not a good experience. users cannot gauge the required space and will not be able to see part of their drawing as the fingers occlude the image. the only good way to make a proper signature is using a stylus.

Having said that, I do not want you to drop the idea of getting a user's signature, but you could use the idea that 'DocuSign' has. They make users type their name and create a couple of signatures that the user can choose from(basically different fonts), or allow user to upload an image(you can specify the color space and other dimension). This way the user will sign the document as well as not be frustrated.

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