Online forms are the most effortless and smart way to collect necessary data within the shortest time. All you have to do is to share the form link. After that, you will keep receiving data automatically whenever someone fills up the form. But, how careful businesses are about the form design? Never mind, either it is a lead generation or a credit application form, persuasive design is equally important for all sorts of online forms. Let’s check out some points from designing aspects to optimize an online form.

Best practices in web form design

Explain the purpose

Why are you collecting these data? Explain the purpose of filling the form and how users would be benefited. When someone is submitting his private information, he has the right to know how the data will be used in the future. So, put a short note on the form regarding this point.

Keep essential fields only

Some online forms seem very disconcerting due to the existence of unnecessary fields. Note that filling up each field requires time and energy. The number of fields should not be disturbing for users. If the “last name” is not urgent, eliminate the field. Keep the form short and relevant.

Mark optional fields

Distinguish the optional fields with special symbols or side note. It is an approach to encourage users to submit minimum information. The optional fields may include the data you would like to get, but avoiding them will make no difference.

Use single-column template

The single-column format has several upsides. It is very easy to scroll and looks better on mobile devices. Online forms with multiple columns seem like playing zig-zag with users. Single column forms provide a better user experience and require less effort to fill up. 

Use auto-detector fields

Auto-detector is very helpful for users while filling up an online form. It saves time as well as reduces annoyance. When someone submits a zip code of New York City, auto-detector fills the country name instantly. Separate fields that can be filled automatically with the relevant data and design the form accordingly.

Avoid repeated entry

Sometimes, repeated entries are required. For example, you may need to verify the password twice. But, there is no need to repeat a visible field like name or email address. “Retype email” is a common poor practice in online form design to acquire a solid lead. But, what if users provide the wrong email address? It creates a disturbance to users and they never retype the email. In most cases, they copy and paste the entry to avoid the hassle.

Add the best CTA

Choosing the perfect CTA is crucial for several reasons. Never think that CTA is just a text on a button. If you optimize them, CTAs can be used for indirect communication. Design buttons with eye-catching colors and use compelling text. For instance, use “Send me this ebook” rather than “submit”. This sounds like a personalized communication.

There are tons of ways to improve your online form design. It may require several A/B testing to find out the best layout.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.