What Makes a good form

John Smith
Email/ UX expert
What Makes a good form

A form gets people to perform tasks on your website. The form should be easy to use when visitors to your site are filling it out. If your form is complicated to use, people will leave and not fill it out and leave your website. This means that you will lose a potential customer because of a poorly formatted form. Therefore, you should know how a good form is made.

The following forms should have a good design.

• Registration forms that require people to sign up for an event or service

• Contact forms used to help people get in touch

• Lead generation forms that enable people to download an offer or opt into your email

• Checkout forms signed by people to ensure that they do not ditch shopping carts

• Login forms to make the login process easier

It is easy to design a form with a good user experience. Let us look at how to achieve this.

The 4Cs of an Effective Form Design

1. Clear

2. Concise

3. Clever

4. Cooperative

Tips to help you avoid unpleasant user experiences with your form.

• Place labels above fields, not as disappearing text within the field. This will help people not to forget the info you requested.

• When dealing with more than two fields, stack them vertically. It is easier to scan a vertical field than a horizontal one.

• Be clear on the required fields; you can use asterisks.

• If your form has more than six options, a drop-down menu would be better.

• To reduce friction, utilize multi-step forms if your fields are many.

• The forms should be in different sizes depending on the length of the answer expected. For example, a form for a phone number should be longer than one for a zipcode.

• If you encounter error messages, add inline validation.

• Use microcopy to make your form more visually distinctive.

Here are the principles that make a good form design.

1. A clear form is easier to use

People don’t have to think when filling out a straightforward form, which is a good thing. Clarity of a form means that the person filling it out does so with little effort. Input fields should be clear about the input they require. If your form is long, it should have clearly labeled fields to make the process as effortless as possible.

Form clarity is essential. If there is confusion in any part of the form, you will lose conversions.

Parts of a form include:

• Required or optional parts

• The information to fill out

• The information to go into each field

• What follows a form submission?

• The reason for filling the form

Unless your form is part of a legal exercise, such as tax documents, people should want to fill it out. This means that it should be straightforward and easy to complete.

2. Concise forms bring more conversions.

Concise in this context means not longer than necessary. Indeed, a short form usually gets more conversions, but:

• At times a longer form brings more conversions than a shorter form

• Sometimes you have to include more information

• Sometimes you only want to reach out to those more interested

When Michael Aagaard, a conversion rate optimization expert, took out three fields from his form, he expected the conversion rate to increase. But this did not happen as they dropped by 14%. This is because some fields are essentially higher friction than others. Although you want to obtain as much information as you can on your leads, you need to balance that need with the amount of data people are willing to disclose.

There are two other reasons for making a form longer.

• You require the information for conversions

• Your visitors are many; hence you only want to deal with the serious ones

Long forms are mostly seen when selling more expensive services. Despite your form being long, let the information requested be relevant.

3. Clever forms assist people.

In this situation, clever refers to the form being smart. A clever form should be smart enough to assist your visitors in completing it quickly by following specific steps.

The steps may include:

• Auto-completing forms for faster completion of the process

• Hide fields for already obtained information

• Hide form fields until mandatory fields are filled in

• Only accepting inputs for particular fields, for example, @ must accompany an email address.

4. Cooperative forms are not frustrating

A cooperative form works with your visitors to enable them to complete it efficiently. The cooperative principle applies a set of best practices, such as:

• Try and have the same mental framework as the person filling the form

• Definition of terms and provision of the context where necessary

• Use of familiar terms to the person filling the form

• Provide steps to fix errors

• Accommodate minimal errors when filling the form (multiple formats, misspellings)

• Provide a valid and accurate response for every form field

• Ask questions with outright answers

• Let the visitor know what is expected of them and what they will get after filling the form

Uncertainty frustrates people who will not fill out the forms resulting in them not converting to customers. The quickest way to remedy and reduce tension brought by a confusing form is not filling it out. This is why it is essential to have cooperative forms to avoid frustrating your form-filler.


What follows a good form?

A good form is the start of your visitors interacting with your business. A good form and authoritative opt-in copy can lead to more people submitting your forms. After that, you will need to find ways to engage your subscribers and new leads.

How do you keep your new leads engaged?

Please direct them to a customized thank you page, which will lead them to more resources that may interest them.

Let them know of the next step in clear terms. Will you call them? Or send them a confirmation email? Be clear about this.

Follow up by sending a welcome email or trigger an automated follow-up. It is good to engage immediately after the visitor submits the form.

Grow your business by converting your visitors into leads, and eventually, customers by making a good form.

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