The working world is always changing, & your form needs to reflect that.
I usually share handy tips & tricks you should follow to help make your active forms better, but today I decided to go in the opposite direction & share three things that shouldn’t be on your forms. These mistakes might seem like basic sense to some of you, but I still see these slips far too often in the wild.

Worst of all, these mistakes prevent your users & potential customers from filling out & completing your forms. As a result, you’re not getting the information you need. There are plenty of things you should not do while designing forms, but these three are the most egregious offenders. Our goal here at Live forms is to empower you to make your forms as easy as possible for folks to fill out & complete.

With that, onward!

1. Put All Of Your Fields On One Long Page

You’ve experienced it. You’re cruising along on a site, really moving at breakneck speed on whatever you’re working on, & the site needs you to enter in some information. You click through to the form & then you see it. The One Form To Rule Them All, & In The Darkness Binds Them. This form is massive. It just keeps going. & going. How many fields are there on the live form? They, they can’t be serious, can they? Oh man, they are. Oh forget this, I’m out of here.

This is the most worst thing that could happen. Your users were completely into the site, jetting along, getting stuff done, but when they got to the form, they were like, “Thanks, but no thanks” & closed the window. They went from extremely prospective customer to nothing, all because of one substantial one sheet form. Having all of your fields on one-page fills your users with dread & kills any momentum they had to complete the form. What you need to do is use a Page Break. Break that crazy long form into multiple pages!

By using page breaks & breaking down your fields into logical chunks per page, you’ll help your users more easily underst& what’s going on, & make it feel like they’re making progress. Additionally, by breaking down your form into many pages, you’re seducing your users into finishing the form by cultivating their innate momentum to finish the form. You get your data, & your users don’t feel like they’ve run a marathon after finishing your form. Everyone’s happy.

2. Add Non-Essential Fields On Your Form

Say you’re a freelancer & you’re using Wufoo to allow prospective clients submit their data so you can contact them & follow up on their form and projects. Of course, you ask for all the normal types of data like name, an email address, maybe even a phone number.

But then it starts to get out of control. You’re thinking, “Wait what about (insert data type here)?” You’re like; it can’t hurt to ask for it. It’ll be useful to have!

Then all of a unexpected, you end up with a form that’s asking for a nickname (so you know, you can talk to them like you’re friends), whether or not they have a pet (since you need to know if they are a dog or cat person & tailor your pitch, right?), what value their car is (people with red cars are entirely willing to pay more), or what their maternal grandmother’s maiden name was (hey, maybe you guys were related).

Don’t do it. Think long & hard about every single field you’re adding to your form & ask yourself, “Do I need this field?” If you don’t, then remove it.
Even if you are 50/50 on whether or not you require, remove it. Too often we fall into the mind trap of thinking that this MIGHT be useful if we had it & then some how end up with a 20 field Contact Us form. That’s insane.

Back to our freelancer example, why did we want a phone number? Are we ever going to call a potential customer by phone? If not—then remove it. Removing fields has shown that people make them far more often (to the tune of 120% better completion rate in one study!)

Only add fields for stuff that you need. If you’re on the fence about something, remove it & see if you do need it later on. If you do, you can attach it back in as you know you’ll want it. But I’ll bet you won’t even notice it was gone in the first place.

3. Ridiculously Long, & Confusing Field Labels

“The name given to you at birth by your father & mother.”
“The family name given to y’all at birth by your parents.”
“The date when you were born.”

“What place would you prefer to travel to if given the option & money were not a concern & if you’d never visited there previously.”

These are horrible field labels. Seriously, don’t do these things. These are advanced examples (btw, one of those above is real) but the lesson here is simple: just be simple & direct. Instead of asking, “The date when you were born” ask, “When is your birthday.” Be concise, clear & people will get it easier to access their information into your forms.

Much like #2 above, you require to take the time to give a long look at each of your field labels & make sure you’re being as straightforward as possible. Microcontent & editing is as important now as it was back in 1998 when Jakob Nielsen wrote about it. If you think it’s solid enough, try again to see if you can remove more words while still retaining the spirit of the message. The smallest of changes could make a system of difference in the number of people who start & complete your forms.

If you follow (err, or, uh, NOT follow) these tips, I think you’ll find that your forms will be easier to digest, easier to understand, & easier to complete. More of your users & potential customers will find themselves at the finish line of your form, & you’ll collect more & even better data.

Stay tuned here for more Tips & Tricks to come. & don’t forget, if you’ve got some DON’Ts that people should avoid when making their forms, share them below! Also, try to add more & more forms on your site using Live Forms to increase user conversation.

WordPress Live Form v4: An Overview Of Its Features
How To Create A Contact Form In WordPress?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *