Making online business forms easier to fill out is important. In fact it is so important that not only will you want to make your forms actually easier to fill out, but you’ll want them to appear easier to fill out as well.
In a nutshell more people are likely to respond to your form if it looks and is easy to fill out, and there are a few ways that you can tick both those boxes:
- Shorten the form by removing unnecessary fields since fewer fields will make it easier to fill out Try to identify any non-essential and superfluous fields and get rid of them.
- Use a single column layout when you structure the form. Research has indicated that users prefer single column layouts and can fill them out faster, as it is easier to scan from top to bottom than it is to scan top to bottom then left to right.
- Avoid having too many compulsory fields unless it is absolutely necessary. Forms that make fields optional are easier for responders to fill out, as they can choose to skip any fields they have issues with.
- Keep the labels short yet descriptive enough that there is no confusion over the content that is expected.
- Place hints for fields that require additional guidance so responders have a way to get help. The hints should explain exactly what type of information is needed to fill out the field, and in some cases may be used to give examples as well.
- Set the field size based on the expected length of the answer to give a subtle hint to responders.
- Insert placeholder text with examples in fields to provide additional hints. Do not use the placeholder as a label however, as if you do when the field is selected and it disappears it could make your form more difficult to fill out.
- Add helpful error messages that clearly identify the issue that triggered them. If necessary the error messages should also recommend a solution.
- Make sure the online form’s design is responsive and adjusts itself based on the screen size of the device it is viewed on. A significant number of responders will be using mobile devices with smaller screens, and the form needs to appear clearly on them.
If you follow each of the steps listed above, you should end up with business forms that are much easier to fill out. However in order to implement the improvements, you’ll need to be able to create and customize your forms, but platforms such as the AidaForm Online Form Builder can help on that front.
As you create any form, try to put yourself in the shoes of a responder and think about whether or not it will be challenging for them to understand the fields and complete them. On top of that you should track and monitor the analytics of your form for a high bounce rate or incomplete submissions that may indicate further improvements are required.