When you create and publish online forms for a business, it is important that you take into account the user experience. While there are several standpoints from which you could evaluate user experience in general, when it comes to online forms the main question that you should ask yourself is: How easy is it to use and complete the form itself?
By improving the user experience of your online forms and making them easier to complete, you will directly improve their effectiveness. To put it simply forms that are easier to complete are more likely to be completed.
If you want to start improving the user experience of online forms, there are three tips in particular that you should try to use:
- Simplify the form to its most essential fields
To ensure your form is easy to complete and provide a smooth user experience, you should go over each field and decide whether or not it is really necessary. The fewer fields in your form the easier it will be to complete, and the better the overall user experience will be.
For example in a newsletter sign-up form the only two fields that you really need are the name and email address. If you want you can stretch it to the first name, last name, and email address – but you shouldn’t go any further than that.
- Ensure error messages are helpful
General error messages make online forms more difficult to complete, and users will often have to spend time trying to figure out what exactly the problem is. Try to make sure your error messages are as specific as possible so that they are helpful to users instead.
For example a general ‘Invalid entry’ error on a field isn’t going to really tell users very much apart from the fact that there is an error. On the other hand a specific error such as ‘This field requires a valid US postcode such as 35801’ is much more useful.
- Use labels and placeholders together
Both labels and placeholders can help improve the user experience of online forms. Placeholder text within the field itself can provide an example that will let users know what they need to enter, while the label can act as a permanent reminder so that they don’t lost context.
For example a field could have a label ‘Email’ and a placeholder text ‘e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org’. With both these elements, users will be able to fill out the form much more easily.
Now that you know how to start improving the user experience of your online forms – go ahead and give it a try. As you can see it is important that you’re able to create and customize online forms but there are easy platforms that you can use to help with that, such as AidaForm.
As you start to improve the user experience of your forms, you should be able to see an improvement in their completion rate. Make no mistake there are lots of other improvements that you could make as well, so be sure to always ask yourself if there’s anything you can do to make your form easier to fill out.