Online forms: five key rules

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Date: 13 January 2022

In today's increasingly digital environment, it's difficult to imagine a successful firm without at least one online form on its website. 

Online forms may be used for a variety of purposes, including obtaining contact information, completing a purchase and transaction, and collecting user feedback.

Brands require users to show their value by traversing a long form with confusing error messages and form fields after all the hard work to promote the service or product. 

On the other hand, companies frequently deploy online forms to transform new website users into leads who may then be groomed to buy.

Five key considerations when creating online forms 

Other than that, forms are the primary point of contact between the users and brands and so it's odd that they're so often overlooked by developers.

Here are the five things you should not miss about online forms.

1. Make the purpose of your online forms clear

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It's tough to picture a successful business unless there is at least one online application on their site in today's digital age. 

For example, if you own a medical business, you might always want to collect patient information in a quick and secure way. You need to make sure that patients fill up the digital form and share all the relevant information with you. 

However, creating a form that helps you get the relevant information can be difficult. As the nature of the information can be different, maintaining a single form to cover all information can be hard. 

We have got you covered. You can now view 123 Form Builder's online medical forms and share the relevant form with your patient to get accurate information. There are various forms available and each one has its specific purpose. 

For example, the body measure form helps to accurately capture the body measurements of the patient, while a Covid-19 questionnaire form can help you gather relevant health data from people during a pandemic.

2. Keep your forms short

Nobody enjoys filling out online forms. Their only duty is to complete them to receive a reward, such as a service or a product. 

People make every effort to complete them as rapidly as possible. Modern designs and creative language may persuade individuals to fill out a form, but it's still a time-consuming activity that most people would avoid if they had the option.

Making forms shorter and interesting is an ideal way to help clients in filling up their forms fast. Higher conversions are achieved by using simpler forms. 

How can you do that? Simply by following these steps: 

a.           Reduce the number of queries you ask

All fields that may not be required for the conversion should be removed. Those pieces of information can be obtained later. Also, using simpler language and avoiding verbiage can help the user to understand the focal point of the form easily.

b.   Divide long forms into multiple forms

You may start by asking for account information, then refer the user to a separate form that asks for more data. Plus, an interesting design can add to the finishing touch of the form.

3. Consider the appearance and inputs of your form

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As forms remain one of the most important elements in connecting the user with a brand, it is equally significant to pay importance to the appearance of a form. 

But the question is what exactly you need to take care of in this part.  

a.           Input labelling and field options

The conversion is lost if the user is not able to comprehend the query on a field and can't locate an explanation. They won't be able to complete your payment or any other forms unless they know what to enter in each of the fields. 

The much more prevalent reason for the ambiguity is input labelling. 

A typical text field called "Business", for instance, is confusing. Are you looking for the company's name, type, or industry?

Another typical problem is field options. What does a client do if there are multiple options for responding to a question and none of those relate? To make it easier for customers, offer convenient assistance choices on the form. It could be a live chat app, or an email or mobile number should also suffice.

b.   Use the appropriate company logo on the form

The importance of a brand logo can be undermined even in an online form. Most people connect with the values of the brand when they see the brand logo. 

In an online form, you can also consider adding the logo either in the header or the footer to have the desired impact. This makes it easier for the customer to connect with the sentiments of the brand when they are filling out the survey. 

c.   Ensure that the headers are straightforward

Including straightforward headers makes it possible for customers to understand what and how they can complete the form. 

If your customers don't comprehend why you're asking for a specific piece of data, they may not be comfortable in sharing their information. Make sure that the information you collect on your forms has a purpose. 

d.   Use relevant answer options

If the user doesn’t understand what the field is for, they must remove anything they have previously typed in order for the replacement text to show and online forms should be part of your business plan.  

Use genuine tags or to the left of each field instead of placeholder text to label your fields. This allows the user to operate on autopilot and keep moving forward. Also, ensure the empty text to show the user a sample of the intended field style so they understand what you're getting for. 

For example, under a field titled "Contact Info," the replacement may be "1234567891".

Asking questions with explicit choices that produce outcomes that are straightforward to analyse and display is the key to getting results that are possible to understand.

4. Highlight errors before submission

You've made your mind up. 

You've completed the registration process. 

You've provided your billing and shipping addresses, as well as your financial card number (credit or debit) phone number, password, and email address. 

Let's pretend you're using it on your iPhone and only for fun. You press the submit button, and it’s no longer there. 

Every single field is unfilled.

"Your email is invalid”, declares an ugly red sign at the top of the screen.

Here are some tricks for informing your users about an error without making them want to destroy the world (or worse, boycott your site).

  • Inform users of anything they've forgotten or typed incorrectly. Avoid those dreadful looking "ERROR" or "Please correct errors prior continue" messages.
  • Do not delete any data entered by the user. Deleting everything is very bad, and your users would be disgusted.
  • Try to be polite. Users frequently commit errors when they don't know any better, such as failing to fill out a mandatory field that isn't clearly highlighted. Make it more human! "Sorry! Please enter", for example. Reconsider using red or brightly coloured banners and avoid being too succinct.

Ensure that all mandatory fields are clearly noted. When you fill out such a field accurately, it highlights green or shows a small check box.

Do not make users look for their mistakes. If feasible, attach to it, or list the fields which need to be changed, such as "phone numbers must include area code."

5. Use attractive images or icons

A vast volume of text on a form can quickly turn users off. Images or icons are an excellent way to break up a block of text and create it more readable. They offer visual impact by deliberately converting big quantities of information into convenient portions to keep your users engaged.

If you are running an email marketing campaign and intend to use a form where you want the users to respond to a few questions, ensure to add some icons or images to make the form look interesting. 

Here are a few tips on using images for your marketing campaigns: 

Make sure to solve any kind of image display problems

Research the types of images or text that customers search for most frequently
Control the eyes of the reader/user to direct their attention to any particular note or offer

Note, a well-designed form can attract visitors' attention, generate visual appeal (from strong headers to photos, animations, and symbols), and burst across information barriers to keep them engaged.

After a visitor has completed the form, thank them for spending their time filling out the form and mention the next step. It could be as simple as they will hear back shortly from you.

Conclusion

Although online forms are still extensively used to gather data, this does not imply that they're the most effective instruments available. 

Manual data inputs also consume a lot of time that may be better spent on more critical tasks and leave room for human mistakes.

Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution, online forms may help teams collect data in an orderly manner by streamlining the data collecting process, working with the software solutions they currently have. 

Let us know your thoughts about online in the Comments section below. How have they helped you streamline your business processes and made data gathering as simple as ever?

Copyright 2021. Article made possible by SKALE.

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