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Key Form Design Principles

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
May 01, 2012

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Form Design

Web forms broker critical interactions between your business and your customer. Making it easier for your users to submit your forms, means more new users, more registrations, leads and revenue. There are a lot of ins and outs to effective web form design, the logiforms Form Designer automatically adheres to form design best practices which are proven to increase conversions from 10 to 40%

Creating Stunning Web Forms That Get a Response

Let's look at some of the key form design principle that lead to better forms and higher conversion rates. We need to always keep in mind our objective, we want to the user to submit the form. That is always our goal, so we need to constantly ask what we can do to make it easier for the user to achieve that goal. So how do we design a good form that gets high conversion rates?

Higher Conversion Rate Principles

  • Keep it simple: People want to submit your form. Your job is to make it easy for them to do that. Remove distractions, remove any unnecessary fields (more on how to do this in our next tip) and keep things as simple as possible
  • Illuminate the Path to Completion: Answer the user's question, "How do I complete this process?". You can make the submit button big and bright. Provide instructional text that is clear and concise. Guide the user through the process and make the path to completion clear.
  • Consider the Context: The context of your form is important. Consider who will be filling out the form and in what context. The context will influence things like what fields are needed and the size of the text and form fields (for an older audience for example), and how questions are asked. Increase Completion Rates by Simplifying the Form
  • Increase Completion Rates by Simplifying the Form: Every form field on your form is a question you're asking. For each form field the user has to stop, think and formulate an answer. By removing unnecessary fields from your form, you're simplifying the process and making it faster and easier for your users to complete the form. Go through your form outline and remove any unnecessary fields.

It's not always possible to remove fields from your form. One technique that we have seen dramatically increase completion rates is to collect data in a two-step process. The idea is to ask the core set of questions first, and then after the form is submitted, ask a couple of follow up questions.

This technique is great because you get the key information you need, which typically includes name and email, and if the user does not complete the rest of the form, you still get the conversion and can follow up later. But, we've found that users are much more willing to provide a couple of additional answers after the initial submission when they are asked as follow up questions. The reason may be because when questions are asked as a follow up they feel less invasive than when presented as requirements to complete the form.

Also consider the context and what questions you are asking. If your form is a contest, do you need to ask for an address? What is the benefit of asking for an address? On an order form, where you are about to ship a product - an address field is necessary and a user will understand why you are asking for it. On a contest or a survey however, users may be hesitant to provide an address. If you think the user will question why you are asking for something, always provide a clear explanation of why you are asking for something and how the information will be used.

More Best Practices

  • Give your form a clear name that explains what it does and make it the title of the page. Users will often not read the introductory text, but they will read the title
  • Break your form up into sections with clear titles and a short explanation of what you are asking for and why. Logiforms makes this easy with panels, groups, horizontal lines and great layout control.
  • If your form is long and has multiple topics, consider breaking it up into multiple pages.
  • If the form is long, but all the questions relate to one topic, one long form might be better. Use dependencies to hide and show fields. More on this in tip #3
  • Use clean and concise field labels that help the user to answer the questions.
  • Where applicable, use a conversational tone when asking questions. Remember, the form is a conversation between your company and your customer
 

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