It helps your users to input and submits their information while creating an account, purchasing a product, signing up for something etc. Web forms are often very simple, such that most designers overlook and underrate their significance in the overall user experience of a product. There are many detailed aspects of a web form a designer should consider. Below we will look into some of the aspects that can improve the usability of your web forms.
Always use one column layouts
Single column layouts are simple and much easier for the user to follow. It wouldn’t waste their time trying to grasp different sections. Moreover, there will be fewer chances of the user deserting the form filling due to confusion and difficulty in understanding.
Prefer labels instead of placeholders
Adding overhead labels for the fields helps in better communication and makes the user understand the process quite easily. On the other hand, using placeholders can make them rely too much on their short term memory as the text disappears once we start typing.
Split the process into segments
The chances of a user successfully completing a form is higher when the process is divided into segments. This way, the users won’t feel intimidated seeing the long list of text fields to input while also having a chance to categorize the fields based on type.
Minimize the number of fields
It is always better to decrease the number of fields in a form. Removing unnecessary fields can ease the effort required by the user and thereby increase the overall user experience of the product.
Start from the easiest of forms
When we start asking the easiest of questions, there are lesser chances of the user leaving the form midway as he has already committed to the process. Parameters such as name, email, phone number which doesn’t make the user think much are perfect examples of easy questions.
Always align the text to the left
Aligning text to the left always helps the user read the text easily due to the natural alignment of our eyes to move from left to right. This in turn can lower the amount of time required to complete the form.
Show progress bars for long forms
Using a progress bar could be a key communicative tool to make the user feel informed about the progress and motivated to complete the process. They can provide your users with an idea of how much more time it’d take to complete the process.
Always show error messages inline
Error messages after completing a form can be quite frustrating for a user. Moreover, if the error messages are not inline, the users will have to figure out the mistake by their own which can lead to even more confusion and higher chances of the user leaving.
Provide tool-tips to keep the user informed
Tool-tips or basic helper text could be a handy addition for users who might get confused with a certain type of fields. Hovering the cursor on these tool-tips can help the user understand the purpose of those fields.
Make the call-to-action more informative
A call to action should always communicate its specific intention to a user. For example, A ‘sign up’ button could make the user more well-informed than a simple ‘submit’ button. This can be more suitable for long webforms where there is a higher chance for the user to forget midway what he might be on to.
Always differentiate primary & secondary CTA’s
The primary buttons should always be more prominent and easy to click than the secondary buttons. Applying the same appearance for both the buttons can make the user consume more time to make a decision. In some cases, the secondary buttons shouldn’t even be shown if it feels unnecessary.
Most often, designers focus too much attention on other aspects that they forget to give emphasis on these minute aspects of web forms. Forms are very important for a digital product, and if it isn’t done right, there are higher chances of it directly affecting the conversion rates of your product or service.