Form Labels Work Best Above The Field
A study found that the ideal position for labels in forms is above the fields. On many forms, labels are put to the left of the fields, creating a two-column layout; while this looks good, it’s not the easiest layout to use. Why is that? Because forms are generally vertically oriented; i.e. users fill the form from top to bottom. Users scan the form downwards as they go along. And following the label to the field below is easier than finding the field to the right of the label.
Our website design solution integrates the Wufoo form design system that creates forms that adhere to this rule.
Positioning labels on the left also poses another problem: do you left-align or right-align the labels? Left-aligning makes the form scannable but disconnects the labels from the fields, making it difficult to see which label applies to which field. Right-aligning does the reverse: it makes for a good-looking but less scanable form. Labels above fields work best in most circumstances. We also feel that labels should not be bold, although this recommendation is not conclusive.