5 Tips for Maximum Digital Form Optimization

By Stuart Jackson - 2016-10-21

Digital forms have become a vital tool for all kinds of businesses. The forms you find on websites are essential for companies looking to build their email subscription lists, generate important leads or to increase their social media following. Online forms are key.

Unfortunately, some businesses completely miss the boat on digital forms. Whether it's multiple pages of forms, too much requested data or poorly designed forms, a large number of customers could be turned off by the digital forms themselves if they are not optimized correctly. Like anything else in the business world, everything should be performed with the customer in mind.

Checkout forms, contact forms and digital forms optimized for mobile devices, designing forms should always be done with the user in mind. This means that it's crucial to get them done the right way and to minimze any difficulties, either user experience or technical problems. Learn more about digital form optimization on the ProntoForms website.

Simply put: the digital forms on your website have to be clear, concise and technically sound.

Here are five tips for maximum digital form optimization:

Label Fields are Clear

Let's face it: forms for any purpose are a hassle and a pain. We all hate filling them in.

With this mind, you must make your digital form label fields as clear as possible. As soon as the client or visitor takes a look at the form, they should immediately fathom what they are supposed to fill in. If the font is too tiny, the labels are too hard to follow and if the boxes are not spacious then here is what will happen: the client will give up and move on to something else.

Another possibility is that they will equate their negative experience with your brand.

Error Messages are Easy to Understand

We're only human, and human beings are prone to errors. That's why there are erasers on the back of pencils, or backspaces on our keyboards. We all make mistakes from time to time.

The important part is that we understand why we made errors. And this is what your digital forms should try to accomplish. When a user fills in a box incorrectly then the error message should be clear as to what went wrong and how it can be rectified. Otherwise, if the user is unaware what they're doing wrong, they'll continue making those errors. For more information, Nomensa has a blog post regarding error messages from a user experience perspective.

Digital Forms are Single Columns

If your digital forms are multiple pages or in multiple columns then this will irk the user.

For desktop or laptop users, it is important to ensure that digital forms are on a single page. If they have to keep clicking on the "next" button then an array of problems could arise: the Internet connection could be lost and then they have to go through everything all over again; their attention span withers away and they move on to something else; or they provided the wrong information and they have to keep clicking the back button multiple times.

For mobile device users, single vertical columns make the experience so much easier. If they're filling in a form on a smartphone or tablet then this suggests that they're doing it on the go. Therefore, if they have to keep going through page after page then they will eventually give up. We also can't forget that Internet speeds are usually slower so if they have to keep clicking on buttons then the form will take longer than expected.

Your Digital Forms are Short

Should your digital forms take 10 to 20 minutes to fill in then the user will abandon the journey.

Ultimately, your digital forms must be short. Your forms must only seek out vital data to your business. If it's a newsletter subscription then you must ask yourself: do you really need to know their telephone number, next of kin and other trivial information? Nope!

Although it does vary from business to business, things like name, email address, date of birth and the like are critical. Anything other than that is just superfluous (again, depending on your business and the purpose of the digital forms).

Never Clear the Data Entered

Don't you hate it when the all of the data you inserted in the form is cleared because you made an error after hitting "confirm"? You do, the person next to you does and the Canadian Prime Minister does. This just frustrates you and adds more time to the form process.

The simple solution to this is to never have the coding clear the data should an error come up.

Whether you're transferring your paper forms to digital forms or you have started a new website and you need to forms to build your subscription list, you must always keep the user in mind as you're optimizing your digital forms. Otherwise, you'll be sidetracked and create the wrong types of forms.

In order to create the right digital form, perform A/B testing, take a look at the results of various kinds of forms and perhaps employ some beta testing.

Digital forms are necessary for any business. Just be sure you do it right the first time.

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