Web forms are the last stage users face before completing one of the site’s goals. We investigated the characteristics that define the efficiency of this tool to achieve conversions.
Nobody likes to fill out forms, we have to accept it. However, it is an essential tool to achieve the objectives of a digital platform and its efficiency has a great influence on the performance and effectiveness of the project in general.
The forms collect the information of a user to register, send a message, consume content or make a purchase, among others. As the last step to be executed before a conversion occurs, it is very important that you have an optimized design to attract, convince, guide and support users throughout the process web site.
Characteristics of an Efficient Form
The aesthetic appearance is generally the first thing that is perceived, so it is very important to have a design that is professional and transmits confidence to persuade users to fill out the form. In this sense, the most important aspects are:
- Make it clear and concise, following a harmonic order in the different fields.
- Make it familiar, consistent with the interface of the site.
- Make it attractive, contributing to the general aesthetics and following the basic rules of graphic design.
But this is only one aspect of the design. Once the user has decided to fill out the form, there are more complex elements that can determine whether or not they will complete this task. What are the characteristics that define the efficiency of this element to achieve conversions?
Clear, Visible and Descriptive Labels
It is recommended to put the labels on each field with a direct and concise explanation of what is required. Some forms leave that information inside the box and it disappears when the user clicks on the field, which is not very functional when more than two data are requested, because they do not allow the person to review what they should enter and they may not remember the tags.
If you need to provide extra clarifications, top web design agencies say that it is best to put contextual help to avoid lengthening the texts in the form too much.
The font should be large enough for everyone to read, although the size will depend on the device and the other elements on the page. To find the right size, it’s good to follow the web accessibility recommendations.
Easy to Select Areas
More and more users surf the web from mobiles. In order for them to use a form from their phones seamlessly, they need easy-to-press buttons and fields. A minimum size of 44 x 44 pixels and a good separation will ensure that everyone can select the elements.
Consistent Field Size
The size of each response field must be proportional to the information the user is expected to enter. Calculate the minimum expected characters and use them to adapt each element, this will help people get an idea of what they are asking.
General and Specific Error Messages
When the user makes an error, it is best to put a general message at the beginning of the form and another specific one in the field where the problem is. In this way the person will easily identify what the error is and can correct it.
Support to Correct Errors
A good idea to help users is to validate each field separately as soon as the information is entered, rather than validating it at the end of the entire process. To optimize the experience, it is recommended that the error be displayed when the user has finished typing and not while typing, as this could confuse and frustrate them.
Easy to Identify Required Fields
It is very important that you distinguish the mandatory fields, this will not only help the user to fill out the form correctly, but will also guide them on the information they need to collect.
Hidden Unnecessary Fields
When there are areas that have prerequisites and that are dependent on each other, it is best to hide or collapse the secondary stages until basic information is entered. This will establish a logical order to fill in the information, avoid errors and minimize the visual extension of the form.
Analyze what are the essential data and ask for only what is necessary and fair. There are many questions that can be removed from the form and asked later, for example, via email or other follow-up resource.
Finally, the complexity of each form, its objectives and the characteristics of your clients will also affect performance. To ensure that your efforts will give good results, we recommend that you perform usability tests, only then can you investigate what the real needs of your users are.