Getting the most out of your forms: A few more thoughts
What does your form communicate?
As mentioned in previous posts in this series, web forms are one of the primary ways you can communicate with your clients or customers. As such, the tone of the interactions on your form establish the tone of the relationship as much as do the words on the form. Here are a few more things to consider when publishing your web forms.
Requiring users to look over and confirm their responses may be a good way to give your respondents a chance to double-check their answers, and some professionals think there should always be a confirmation option. However, as mentioned previously, there are huge advantages to streamlining and shortening online forms.
To set up a confirmation page, navigate to the “Display Options” tab for your form. Check the box next to “Allow respondents to review their response before a final submit.”
One of the biggest problems with a confirmation page can be that respondents forget to click the final submit button. In FormAssembly, however, even if the respondent were to forget to do the final submission, the data would be saved in the “Incompletes” tab, not lost. There’s no single answer for whether or not you should require the confirmation page, but before you do so think about the risks and benefits of the added step.
One way to reduce the need for confirmation is to utilize the validation methods available on the Properties panel in Form Builder. This is especially useful for email addresses, phone numbers, and dates. If the respondent attempts to submit a form with an invalid email address an error message will appear to alert the respondent of the problem, showing exactly where the problem occurred.
You can also use regular expressions to create your own validation processes. Using in-form validation provides quick, targeted feedback to your respondent without creating an extra burden.
CAPTCHA: Spam risk vs. increase in conversion
One study found a 10% improvement in the conversion rate when their site eliminated the CAPTCHA on their registration form. CAPTCHA does reduce spam but it can also lower your conversion rate. As with the confirmation page, when creating your web form try to balance the annoyance of spam against the importance of receiving every legitimate response. If you want to capture every legitimate response, eliminate CAPTCHA and understand that you may get more spam (unless you host the form on your own site and implement other spam-reducing technologies).
The “Cancel” button
Including a cancel or reset button on your form is almost never a good idea. Numerous studies have found that reset buttons on web forms nearly always cause more problems than they solve. This is partially because the action of a reset/cancel button isn’t standardized across the web. In FormAssembly, the “cancel” button has the same effect as the browser’s “back” button, while on other sites it erases all the respondent’s entered data.
The presence of a second button also increases the likelihood that your respondent will miss the “submit” button and accidentally hit “cancel.” All of these situations lower the quality of the experience your respondent has with your form.
The web form as experience
Over the past few weeks this series has covered a number of ways to get more out of your forms, focusing largely on helping your respondent have a better experience. A better and more seamless experience for respondents builds your reputation with them and increases the likelihood of quality responses to your forms.