Contact forms have been ubiquitous on the web since the early days of web design. Even though they have been around for years, every form is not created equal. It is always important to keep your audience in mind when including forms on your site, especially if you are using them as a source of business leads or new clients. Here are 5 things you should know about forms on the web.
1. Give Your Users Contact Options
If the goal of your website is to get clients to reach out to you, whether through website forms, live chats or calling you directly, it is always best to give your visitors more options. The more options you provide, the more inclusive and welcoming your website will be perceived to be.
2. Forms Should be Americans with Disabilities Act Compliant
Some website visitors will rely on using forms since it is the only way they can contact you. For those visitors who use assistive technology to browse the web, it’s vital that your forms are built in a way that they remain usable when not browsing using a typical mouse and keyboard setup.
3. The Longer or More Complex a Form, the Worse the Submission Rate Will Be
It can be tempting to try to get all the information you typically ask new clients on intake, but it is important to only ask the most essential questions in your web forms. Any information that can be gathered another way, collected at a later time or just removed should be cut as shorter forms are more likely to be completed by users.
4. Spam Can Be Mitigated but Not Eliminated
There are many methods to manage spam submissions like block lists, captcha challenges and honeypot fields to trick or prevent robot submissions but there is no 100% foolproof way to eliminate spam submissions completely from your website forms. You also need to keep in mind that any spam countermeasures you add must not be obtrusive to your site visitors – for example, complex captcha can discourage people from completing forms.
5. Form Design Can Impact Form Submissions
There isn’t anything exciting about the look of a form so designers sometimes do what they can to stylize form field inputs or hide field labels within forms. While these may look nice they can negatively impact the usability of the forms. Any modifications should keep the forms recognizable and legible which means visible labels and enclosed form field inputs.