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10 Best Practices for Web FormsLast Update: July 1, 2014
We see hundreds of web forms every day and often encounter forms that are created so carelessly. Some only have a title or just a user name field. Some don’t even have any text at all. These little tips & tweaks will help you look more professional and also improve your conversion rates.
1. Fool proof your forms:
Always give additional information about your web forms. Even if it is a simple contact form explain what can your visitors do with it. Contact us can mean everything. Contact for what? For a job application, idea, chat, emergency, issues, and so on.
Always start with a heading and sub-heading on your forms.
Example: (Which one looks better?)
2. Aid your visitors with extra info:
Help your visitors in every way that you can with tiny bits of information. Point out extra information for fields that can be confusing or to make sure the visitor is on the right path.
1. By placing hint boxes
2. With hover texts
3. By using sub labels
3. Test forms before publishing
Preview your form, think like a visitor, and fill in your form to find any flaws.
4. Don’t use captcha
Unless you’re getting many spam responses, it’s a good suggestion not to use it.
5. Don’t use a form in a pop-up window
It may be tempting to put the form right in the center of the screen to get responses quickly, but it can get annoying. People may fill out “I hate pop-ups” on your form... There goes a wasted submission!
6. Don’t use “required” for every field
Give your visitors some flexibility. They’ll thank you by filling out the form correctly.
7. Keep it simple
Simplicity is the key to success for almost anything. Don't fill your forms with out of context questions.
8. Have 1 open-ended question
Leave 1 open question for the thoughts, comments, ideas of your visitors. Some may want to give additional and valuable information so don't miss them out.
9. Be consistent on the grammar
Labels should follow title case. First word of the label should start upper case and the sub-label should follow with the same pattern.
10. Don’t think about phishing
Keep in mind that phishing is bad! Stealing passwords, credit card numbers, etc. is illegal and can cause you a lot of trouble. Use your forms for good.
That's about it for our best practices. Which methods do you use? Please share them on the comments section below.