How to Improve Your Web Form User Experience
So, you've realized that it's essential to have a web form on your site and the time has come to put it in place. It's great being able to customize your forms to best suit your needs and the needs of your website visitors. Like all website owners, it's likely you're wondering how you can make your beloved web property better. Here's how to approach web forms to improve the user experience and achieve better results overall.
Inform Your Visitor
We've all got very short attention spans while browsing the web. This is especially important for web forms and other so-called "calls to action" where it's requested the visitor do something.
Whether it's a request to contact you or submit a resume, clearly labeled and direct information is needed for the best results. Always answer the questions: why should the visitor fill in this web form and how do they do it? Here's a list of considerations:
- Make sure all parts of your form are clearly labeled
- If you ask for any information out of the ordinary, list the reason why
- Let the visitor know what will happen after the form is submitted
- Clearly label which of the fields are necessary and which are optional (if any)
- Consider mentioning that the userâs privacy will be respected
Make Your Forms as Short as Possible
People are much more likely to fill in a web form that only has two fields than if the same form had ten fields. That said, even having one less field to fill in before pressing the submit button can be make a huge difference to your results. You can find more information about the importance of using short web forms in a separate article here.
Save Correctly Filled Data
There's nothing more frustrating than having to fill in a web form that's already been done just because a Captcha or phone number format was incorrect. Make sure you take all reasonable steps to ensure correct data is not deleted somehow if it was filled in correctly the first time round.
Clearly Label Your Errors Messages
When people fill in web forms, it's easy to make a mistake. A message is needed to show people where they went wrong. But what if it didn't clearly explain the problem? Well, it could result in that same person not filling in the form and instead looking for what they need on somebody else's website.
Make sure you write your error messages clearly and simply. Take time to think about how you can say the same thing in fewer words, making sure you use simple language and short sentences.
Consider Multilingual Copy
If your website is aimed at an international audience, it can significantly improve your results to offer the web forms in different languages. Remember though, it's not just the fields that should be labeled in the appropriate language. You'll need to translate any other informational text and also the confirmation or error message pages.
If you follow up a form submission with an email, this should be translated, too. In many cases, people really appreciate being spoken to in their mother tongue, so considering this approach is very good idea.
Always be Testing
Improving the results you get from your web forms is an ongoing process. Each time you adjust something, take note of how well it's doing. Experiment with new ideas and always be on the lookout for ways you can improve your web forms for better results. Good Luck.