go bowling or clean gutters

Like Bowling, You Should Avoid Gutters In Forms

“Where should I put the labels?”

This is a frequent question in form design. I won’t review the best practices here (watch for it in the Best Practices section), but suffice it to say that the form below doesn’t do it right.

Why is there so much space between the label and the field?

What is with that huge gutter?? It makes it really hard to move your eyes from the label to the associated field, leaving you to wonder if you’re typing the right information in the right box.

Maybe they took the space that should be between the radio buttons and their labels (just a few pixels would be nice) and added it to the gutter…

What should they have done? Make the gutter as small as possible (10-20px would be sufficient) and, just to make it even easier, right align the labels instead of left.

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