Improving The User Experience Of Online Business Forms
If there’s one area that you should try to improve in any online business form it is its User Experience (UX). A good user experience is vital to your form, as it will make it easier to use – and help you to attract more responses.
While there are many ways to improve the user experience of your online business forms, there are several that are especially important:
Use Single-Column Structure
A single column structure is easier for users to scan, as their eyes just need to move from top to bottom. In contrast in a multiple-column structure users would have to go from left to right, then diagonally downwards – and repeat that for every row.
Research has shown that single-column forms can be completed faster, and that makes it an invaluable UX improvement. It should be noted that the single-column structure includes the labels – that should be placed above each field, not beside it.
Logically Arrange Fields
The arrangement of your fields should be logical, both in terms of the order they appear in as well as how they’re grouped.
All fields should be sequentially arranged, and the best example of that is address fields that should contain the house number, street name, post code, city name, then country. Similarly it would feel more logical to have a name field located before an address field – not after.
The fields in your forms should also be grouped based on the type of data they require. For example personal details should be in one group, and contact details should be grouped together as well.
Provide Examples Using Placeholders
In some cases you may have encountered forms that use the placeholders as a label (and remove the label entirely). That is not a good idea, and it will actually hurt your UX.
Instead of that, you should retain your labels and use placeholders to provide examples of an answer. That will help to make your form easier to fill out, and improve UX instead.
Make Sure Errors Are Helpful
All errors that your online business form may spit out should be helpful. Not only should they specifically identify the issue, but they should also suggest a solution.
Giving an example of the type of answer that is expected can’t hurt either. The more helpful your error messages are, the more likely that users actually act them, rather than simply deciding that it isn’t worth their time.
Use a responsive, mobile-friendly design
Every online business form that you publish (without exception) must be mobile-friendly and preferably should use a responsive design. The fact of the matter is that mobile internet traffic exceeds desktop traffic nowadays, and you cannot afford to ignore the user experience of users on mobile devices.
Ideally your online business forms should cater to all screen sizes – or at least several of the more popular ones.
As you may have noted you will need to be able to customize your form to implement the UX improvements described above. That is where a good form maker can be a big help, and for example you could try AidaForm Online Form Builder.
At the end of the day, you should test any online business form that you create before it goes live. Pay close attention to how difficult it was to fill out, and see if there are any improvements that you can make or fields that you can eliminate entirely.
Now that you know what to look for – it should be a lot easier to provide a far better user experience.