Creating a website is difficult even before you start worrying yourself with the forms. Unfortunately, the forms are necessary. There are ways that can help users fill out forms on your site. All it requires is you avoiding errors that are frequently made when designing web forms. What follows is a list of tips that will help you successfully design functional and quality web form designs.
Label Fields on the Outside
It looks clean to have the field labeled from the inside when the form hasn't been touched. However, when users begin filling out fields, they might forget what they are filling out once the text disappears. It's best just to clearly label each field on its exterior.
Contrast Your Buttons
Make sure you prioritize your buttons, should your form have different commands located on the page. One button might say “edit,” while the other might say “submit.” Make sure the button with the highest level of importance occupies the more prominent space on the form.
Make Buttons Functional
Rather than simply having a button that says “submit,” try to create a button with a more exciting verb that invites the user to take action. It all depends on the form, but writing correlating short phrases might be helpful.
Include a Clearly Written Confirmation Page
Skipping a confirmation page can be frustrating to the user, who will complete and submit the form and will be left in the dark if they don't know you received it. Make sure you take the time to include a confirmation page, and make sure it clearly communicates that you have completed the process. This will also help you finalize your conversion funnels.
Keep Forms Few and Short
There's an intricate balance between whether to avoid more pages or more scrolling on page. It's best to find a happy medium, as there is no right or wrong way to do it. Remember to do what is best for the user.
Many people think captchas help avoid spam, but what really happens is that users are turned off by the annoying extra step the process creates. Some Internet gurus believe that spammers can find ways around them, anyway. It's best to accept some spam in order to keep user experience higher.
Simple is Best
Exciting isn't typically a word that is synonymous with functional websites. If your design looks boring to you, it's likely functional and simple for user experience. If it's an element that won't improve functionality, then it's best to omit it.
Error Messages Must Be Clear
If there are fields that you require users to fill out, it isn't uncommon to include a message notating an error when they attempt to submit an incomplete form. The clearest error messages are ones that constructively lead the user to correct the mistake, rather than chastising them for leaving a field incomplete.
Try to get rid of complex forms on your site, if possible. That way, the users won't have to worry about formatting the fields they are filling out. If you must have them do some formatting as they go (a phone number that requires dashes), then give an example of what the format should look like. However, as mentioned above, try to avoid making the users do any formatting.
Rid Your Site of Excess Fields
If you're not careful, forms can become riddled with too many fields. Judiciously look over all your fields and try to remove unnecessary ones. Too many of them can cause a clutter on your site, and it could cause users to give up before they even start filling out the form.