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Published on October 4th, 2010 | by Formstack

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Ten Best Practices For Creating Awesome Online Forms

As you embark on your online form building journey, there are several things to keep in mind to make sure you create the best online forms possible. Below, we’ve compiled a handy-dandy cheat sheet of best practices to consider when designing your online forms.

  1. Use the multi-page feature for longer forms. It looks less intimidating to a user than having to scroll down a long page of fields to fill out.
  2. When using a multi-page form, use the progress indicator bar and save and resume features to make it more user-friendly.
  3. Kill CAPTCHA – We have behind-the-scenes spam filters in place to protect your forms so there’s no need to use CAPTCHA. CAPTCHA is a user nightmare and can result in fewer submissions as users struggle to decode the often confusing CAPTCHA words.
  4. Use conditional logic to show and hide fields that are relevant to the user. Providing only relevant questions makes a form easier to fill out and ensures maximum conversions.
  5. Use supporting text and callouts to provide instructions on how to fill out certain fields. This makes it easier on the user, and you’ll end up with better data.
  6. Test your submit buttons to see what wording gets the most submissions. For example: Submit Form vs Sign Up Now. Tip: You can also customize the look of your submit buttons with a little CSS.
  7. Use themes to change fonts, add color and drop in your company logo to brand your forms.
  8. Don’t forget to enable SSL and data encryption if collecting sensitive information such as credit cards and social security numbers.
  9. If you need to ask for information a customer may be reluctant to give out, explain why you need it.
  10. Only ask for information you know you’ll use at some point. Do you really need to collect someone’s work, cell and fax numbers, blood type, hair color, etc on a contact form?

Have a best practice you use when building online forms? Please share it in the comment section below.

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About the Author

These posts come from a collaboration of multiple team members! Everyone from marketing to development pitches in to share some insight on small business, online forms, data collection, and all things awesome.

3 Responses to Ten Best Practices For Creating Awesome Online Forms

  1. Rajesh Kumar says:

    If you require a specific answer make a list of responses in the “drop down menu” with an Other option. This will keep the data focused and easy to deal with irrelevant or non-priority submissions.

  2. The missing images might have more information, wish I could see them!!

  3. John Hewitt says:

    For longer forms, group sets of questions/fields into logical sections using fieldsets and a relevant legend. Disable the submit button until all required fields are completed.

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