Creating Forms or Applications
Forms and applications are a means of communication between different firms and organisations and the public. Generally, their purpose is to collect information from individuals, which then is processed and can be put to different uses. When designing any kind of form or application the designer should be concerned with the purpose of the document and the person it is designed for. For instance one must consider the age of the people it is targeting, formality and layout. Also, the form should be clear enough so that the applicant can fill it out easily and to his convenience.
Furthermore, the designer must concern himself with ways in which he can attract the public and also make it convenient for the person seeking information to extract it from the forms. Information may be gathered using forms or simply by conducting a questionnaire according to what is appropriate. Most establishments however – and these include banks, schools and firms – use forms. I have collected 6 application forms from similar establishments for similar purposes so that I can compare them and bring to light the different techniques and layout establishments use based on the same idea.
I have concentrated on forms, which were applications for credit cards, which are widely used in Malaysian shopping centres. I additionally have acquired an application form from a bank, namely Citibank to see how more professional firms present their documents. Jusco Jusco is a chain of Japanese shopping facilities. They sell everything from food to clothes and electrical appliances. Like many other firms, Jusco has created a card for customers. With every purchase a customer makes, and of course using this card, points are awarded.
Based on these points customers are rewarded with privilege buys, exclusive gifts (with purchases) and invitations for special promotions. Based on my own investigation, – I have frequently had the chance to see many people use their cards – this method of customer rewards has proved highly successful. J-Card Application Form When I look at this form I notice that the designer has used a light blue colour to attract the customer’s attention. Furthermore the boldly written slogan “A new season of exciting benefits” makes people pick up the form and wonder what it is about.
It is interesting to point out that the main weight has been put on the slogan and not the actual title of the form, which is written at the top in small letters and reads “application form”. The form itself is not very eye catching and attractive. Its presentation is rather dull. Inside, at first there is a massive amount of text explaining the terms and conditions, rebate redemption, points redemption programme and built in insurance. All of the explanations are laid out in bullet points and I think it is fairly well laid out knowing that all the information must be given to the customer applying for the card.
The terms and conditions section, however, is explained again in more detail at the back of the form. I think this should have been done in the first place which would have provided more space inside the form for other purposes. Followed by the policy explanations are a series of pictures of things a J-card member is likely to be rewarded with. All of them are emphasised by a bright orange heading followed by a brief explanation about how the gifts may be obtained. Finally, the personal profile section asks for information such as Name, IC and Passport number, nationality, birth date, sex and address.
Then there is also a small section asking for which shopping areas the customer likes most, details of the customer’s profession and monthly income. I think that the form provides too little space for the customer’s convenience. Now, to conclude my examination on this specific form I’d like to mention that it is not well presented nor well laid out and there is too little space for people to write their names. As mentioned earlier the form is not very attractive. The designer has managed to set out the facts clearly so the applicant knows what exactly is asked from him.
Furthermore there has been an effective usage of extended vocabulary, especially when explaining the terms and conditions of appliance to this bonus card. J-Card Renewal Form Just like the application form a lot of attention has been given to the slogan that heads this form. This time it reads “It’s time to renew your J-card”. The colour is of a fairly light green and the actual title “renewal form” is situated at the very top of the front page. Just like the previous application form, it is rather the slogan, which makes people stop and think and not the colouring (which is nothing of extravagant).
The form is dull and not very attractive. This form is much smaller than the application form and does not have any terms and conditions explained. What it does have is exactly the same page with the rewards the customers might get and exactly the same personal profile section where not one question has been altered or added. Just like previously there is a lack of space for the customer’s convenience and a very dull presentation. Also, the form is not well laid out and presented.