The Form Design Best Practices Everyone is Using Because They Work

Author: Tom Cottrill | Date Posted: Mar 4, 2020

There’s nothing glamorous about designing a lead form. And that’s why it often gets very little attention when building a website. Developers and designers want to spend more time making the site look good and work well. But your lead forms are probably the closest thing to an actual conversion on your website. Soooo, kinda sorta important!

Luckily for you, there’s not much guessing involved. There are so many different data points, case studies, A/B tests and research on the best practices surrounding the forms on your website. So, what are you waiting for? Stop leaving money on the table, because you know someone else will happily take it.

Form Design Changes You Can Make Today

If you’ve come to the conclusion that your forms are probably not following best practices, there are some form guidelines we tell all of our clients to live by. And it’s not just because everyone else is doing it, it’s because they actually work. Just a few simple changes could help you get some quick wins and make you look like a rockstar!

  1. Less is Always More – The fewer fields someone has to fill out to submit a form, the more likely they are going to be to do it. Most people are a little hesitant about sharing personal details to companies, so if you are asking questions about the names of their pets, then you can probably assume you’re getting a little too intrusive for what you actually need to know. Keep it simple.
  2. Only Design in One Column – Even when a form has the same number of fields, a one-column approach is typically about 30% faster to fill out. This idea has been around for years and there’s a reason for that. It works!
  3. Allow Auto-Completion of Forms – Browser tools have made it even easier for people to fill out lead forms. Make sure you’re doing your small part by allowing your forms to auto-populate with data saved within browsers.
  4. Validate Inline, Not After Submission – Inline validation is an amazing tool for users. It lets them know immediately if there is an error in real-time. Statistics have shown major improvements in success rates and satisfaction when inline validation is used in form fields.
  5. Enable Tabbing – Basically, you have a very small window of time to keep your potential customer captivated by your form. Make it as easy as possible for them to fly through the fields by enabling tabbing. It’s a simple fix that can make a big impact.

There is no point in reinventing the wheel and doing your own tests or eye-tracking studies when most of the work has already been done for you – many, many times before. Not all best practices will make sense for your company’s forms, but by making even a few small changes you can make a major impact on your conversion rate.

And the best part about all of this is that making these changes to your forms is fairly simple.

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