Tips for Designing User-Friendly Online Forms
A poorly designed online form can be a potential roadblock in your lead generation efforts. The users have already made a decision to sign-up and provide you with information about themselves. Do not thwart this decision by making it hard for them to complete the form. Design it so that your users simply zip through the form.
Here are some tips and guidelines for user-friendly web forms:
- Simplify web form validation. When a user leaves a field blank or types in two sets of passwords that do not match, the system should be able to recognize it, identify the problematic fields and highlight them so that these fields are easy to find and correct. Also, when there are errors, the accomplished fields should be able to retain their values. It can be particularly frustrating for a user to have to reenter everything just because certain fields did not pass the validation process.
- Have as few fields in your form as possible. Before you add anything to your form, ask, “Do I really need this piece of information at this point in time? Will I be able to obtain it sometime later?” Experience indicates that conversion rates drop with each additional field you have in your form. A potential customer may be wary about providing you with his complete address and credit card details just to sign up for a newsletter. However, if he has already made a purchase from your store, his address will be part of the set of information he will need to provide. Having a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system will help you get more information on a customer as you build your relationship with him.
- Get creative and consider the aesthetics of your form. Forms do not have to be boring. Design your forms in such a way that it is appealing to the eye and intuitive to use. Group the fields into logical sections (i.e. credit card details in one section), with labels close to the blank fields. The ideal layout will have a single column since having multiple columns interrupts the scrolling down movement as the user fills up the form. Use readable fonts and design the form so that the texts and action buttons have a good contrast with the background.
- Size your fields based on the length of the text. The user needs to see what he is typing. If the field is too short some part of the text will be blocked, making it more vulnerable to misspelling and errors.
- Give quick instructions on ambiguous fields. For instance, if you have certain requirements about passwords, tell your users while he is filling in that text. This is better than having the user enter his preferred password and then sending him an error message. Also, give instructions on format requirements, particularly for information such as phone numbers.
- Make some fields optional. There may be cases where you need to provide a field for a specific set of users. This field may not apply to most of your users. However, you can make it easier for them by making these fields optional. Use an asterisk to indicate which fields are required and which are optional.
- Design your action buttons carefully. Use colors that engender a positive response. For instance, blue denotes trustworthiness, while green is the universal color for “go.” On the other hand, users will intuitively denote “stop” for the color red. The font for call-to-action buttons should always be bigger than the fonts used for labels.
About Adaptivity Pro
These are just a few tips that can significantly improve your form designs and your conversation rates. Or, you can just leave it to the professionals. Adaptivity Pro has a team of experts who specialize in Utah web design, graphic design, web programming and copywriting. We also offer SLC SEO, Internet marketing and pay per click marketing services.