Layout of forms, key screens - digital guide

How to add introductions and key screens.

Adding an introduction to a form

Regardless of whether a form is single- or multi-step, it should have an introduction. The exception is if the introduction — with content as outlined below — would be almost as long or longer than the form itself. In such cases, an introduction is optional.

Slot gameThe introduction should be located before the first data entry. For most forms, the introduction will need to be a standalone screen but for very simple forms or forms with very brief introductions, the introduction and data entry can be on the same screen.

If the introduction is on its own screen:

  • it is this screen that should be indexed and shown in search results, never the first screen of data entry
  • unless it includes eligibility, the introduction screen will be part of the informational site, rather than part of the transactional environment

What a form's introduction must include

About this form

Ideally one, but no more than two, lines explaining what the form is for and who should complete it.

What you will need

  • a bullet point list of any external sources (people or documents) the form-filler will need in order to complete the form, especially ID or reference numbers. Briefly explain where ID or reference numbers can be located on artefacts that are likely to be at hand (for example, drivers licence)
  • if the form-filler will need a printer, a credit card, or some other equipment to complete the form, and what to do if they don't have this

How long it will take

An estimate of how long completing the form will take, to the nearest 5 minutes and accurate for roughly 80% of cases. As soon as possible, adjust the initial estimate to reflect from actual metrics.

Saving a partially completed form

Slot gameIf save and resume functionality is provided, one line explaining that the form can be saved and finished within <x> days from starting.


You may need to provide a collection notice if your form is collecting personal information. Refer to protect privacy - digital guide for more information.

This introductory text should be followed by a highly prominent button for starting the form (see also Submit and start buttons on Layout of forms-key components). If appropriate, the button can be repeated (for example, at the top and the bottom of the page). In multi-step forms, the introduction is not part of the slick pipeline, nor should it be included in any progress indicator.


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