Opinion: Reset Buttons Suck

Have you ever filled out an online form only to lose it all by a poorly placed reset button? Why do these buttons even exist? I can’t think of a time I’ve ever filled in a whole form only to say, “hey, I didn’t really want any of that information, let me erase it all at once.” Luckily in recent years it seems less and less forms have these annoying buttons but they still exist. I’m calling for everyone to check their forms right now. Go ahead, I’ll wait… If you’ve got a reset button on your form, it’s time to reconsider that choice.

A reset button is just a bad user experience. A user can easily change the information they’ve entered without having to delete it all in one click. I’d say almost no one intentionally hits that reset button. It’s probably an accidental click while thinking it was the submit button. Having that button in place is doing more harm than good. Do your users a favor and leave off that reset button. That way you don’t have to needlessly frustrate your users and you have the added benefit of a cleaner, less cluttered form.

Making Google forms your own

One of the greatest features in Google Docs is the forms. In just a few minutes you can be up and running with a form that accepts user input and automatically fills that information into a spreadsheet. It’s super easy to set up and that’s why I’ve been using them for a number of tasks both at work and in my personal life. I’ll soon be marrying the lovely abbyabbyabby and we wanted to do online RSVPs. I immediately knew a Google form would do the trick with little-to-no work on my end. The problem was how the final product looked.

default style of my RSVP Google Form

Because both Abby and myself are designers, we weren’t comfortable directing people to such an un-styled form. “No problem,” I thought, figuring one of the many provided templates from Google could do the trick. I looked over the options, and while there are many they actually were worse than the default look.

some themes for Google forms

I was at a loss. I tried messing around with the embed code a bit but it was just an iframe pulling in the URL to the form. A few Google search attempts finally turned up this wonderful post about how to style Google Forms. It was perfect, easy to understand and provided me with the absolute control that I wanted. Below you’ll see what my final form looks like. It’s quite a bit better looking than the original. With my new-found trick  my future projects with Google forms will look just as good.

the final RSVP form with my styling