6 Questions to ask when creating forms for your website
A website is essentially a medium for communication between a brand and the online community. Forms make this communication complete by giving the audience a voice and the opportunity to be more than just visitors. If you use them right, forms immediately improve user experience and increase the value of your web content. But if not, then you’ve only wasted a lot of time and effort. Poorly-made forms are also frustrating for your audience and will discourage them visiting again.
To build awesomeforms for your website, here are six questions you need to answer first:
1. What Are They For?
There are different kinds of forms built for very specific purposes. Granted, making a good looking form and plugging it into a web page is easy. But first, you must answer the question: why do you need this particular form?
Do you need a form to incorporate interactivity with your site? Remember that one of the most common uses of forms is to gather feedback from your audience. These forms make the audience feel more engaged and foster customer loyalty if you pay attention to their feedback. A form may also be used for transactional purposes. For instance, you can use a well-detailed form to help your audience to get quotes for your services.
2. What Information Do You Need to Know?
Once you identify the purpose of a form, it should be possible for you to determine the information you need from your audience. However, this process is a lot more complicated than you think. Remember that you need just enough information to give your audience the appropriate response without being invasive at the same time. Some of the information you may need include an email address, a physical address, their website’s URL, and a first name.
With the right amount of information, you should be able to place the audience in the right segmentation, which will help you offer them more relevant content in the future. Asking for too much in a single form is also tedious for the audience and may discourage them from proceeding.
3. How Will You Develop the Form?
If you’re using a Content Management System (CMS), then it should be easy to find tools or plugins you need to get the job done. For example, a quick Google search will help you find tools for creating a WordPress contact form, opt-in form, event registration form, or survey form. Blogging platforms as well may contain built-in features for building various types of forms.
Next, pay attention to your form copy and make sure everything is optimized for your target audience. Use the appropriate language level and make the design responsive to cater to your mobile audience. Also give clear instructions to guide your audience throughout the form’s completion. Make sure to use only the necessary fields and prefill certain information if necessary. What’s important is that the audience won’t feel bored when filling up your form.
4. Does The Form Work?
Naturally, you need to test your form immediately and check whether they deliver the experience intended to users. Apart from making sure that the form displays and functions properly, you should also check whether it works in accomplishing the original purpose of getting the information you need.
When it comes to the testing process, try to get some of your customers involved in a private testing session. Of course, your development team should also be hard at work early on. Remember that you need to detect any issue and fix them as early as possible to avoid losing potential customers.
5. Is It Visible?
Aside from functionality and appearance, the visibility of your form is also extremely important. For this step, you need to look at your site’s overall layout and theme. For example, does your design have plenty of clutter? Or are there certain elements that grab the attention of your users away from your newly-made form?
Cleaning up your site’s design is a great way to boost the visibility of forms. Alternatively, you may place the form above the fold or use directional cues to bring your audience to the form.
6. How Will You Improve It?
In web design, constant monitoring and optimization will help you achieve the very best version of your site. The same principle applies for individual site elements such as ads and forms. For this task, you can take advantage of the built-in analytics tools in form builders or rely on third-party software such as heatmap tools.
You should also learn to split test your forms to speed up the optimization process. Focus on editing the ad text, instructions, hints, and error messages to ensure the best possible experience to your audience. To make sure you don’t overlook any key element that affects the performance of your form, see to it that you generate daily, weekly, or monthly reports and notice patterns. Finally, don’t forget to review the performance of the entire site as it directly affects the conversion rate you get for your form.