A few days ago, I was waiting in the line at a bank to deposit cash. I couldn’t help overhear the conversation (I could as well call it argument!) between the cashier and the customer ahead of me in the line. It turned out to be about the instructions given on some pay-in-slip or application form. Supposedly, the customer wrote his last name in the incorrect blocks and he had a point too as the instructions were given AFTER the blocks provided for name. So, he wrote the name and THEN read the instructions.
Is this just one situation or two? I would say no. Some forms are [fairly] well managed with block letters on the top: “Please read instructions overleaf before filling up this form”. Fair enough. However, I myself filled hundreds of forms where the space provided for the information to be filled in will be first and then the instructions to fill the field. Some forms have examples too! Of course, below the field to be filled up only, making it less effective.
Are we expected to read [the form] completely once before penning the information down? How can we ignore the field “Name” and move on? As if that is something you need to do some research and find out! And do we need time and thought to mark “Gender”? If we talk about every specific field, all of it is “our” information, either personal [and/] or account/ job/ whatever but “related”. And once the form is completed, there will probably be a line: “Leave the items 4, 6 and 9 above blank if you are already our customer”!
Isn’t “form” an excellent and easy way to collect information? Why do we still have these many confusing situations day in and day out?