It won’t be long until we’re in the thick of the Rio 2016 Olympics, where gymnasts, divers, equestrians, and others will demonstrate their outstanding form in front of a worldwide audience. Even in a rarefied atmosphere like the Olympics, “perfect” form is rare, though it has happened occasionally.
Have you ever thought about whether the online forms you use for business are perfect? What does it even mean for a form to be perfect? The criteria are obviously different than they are for Olympic sports, but knowing what to aim for can help us create better, more useful, and more efficient forms. Here are some of the attributes of today’s perfect form.
It Is Easy on the Eyes
The early years of the web were one big eyesore in many ways. Web pages represented a new canvas, and people threw everything they had at them, often without regard to whether it made sense. We have learned that web forms need to be aesthetically pleasing if they are to encourage site visitors to fill them out. They should be uncluttered, have a color, branding, and font scheme in keeping with the rest of the website, and it should be obvious to the user what information goes in which form field.
It Is Clear and Not Confusing
Have you ever filled in a form with, say, your phone number only to discover when you try to submit your form that you entered it in the “wrong” format? Perfect online forms offer users cues about what format to use, or present form fields with the parentheses and hyphens already present so that formatting is obvious. Moreover, fields should be large enough so that field labels are easy to read. The form should not appear cluttered or haphazard. In other words, users should see a form, conclude it doesn’t look like a “chore,” and happily fill it out.
It Offers Features that Increase Efficiency
There are other things you can do to make forms more efficient. For example, mandatory fields should be clearly marked and, if a user misses one, he or she should not have to start over filling out the entire form again before submitting it. Some fields might include drop-down menus so that completed forms can be easily sorted by the information entered (such as the user’s industry). If a user has completed other forms on your site, auto-populate features can eliminate the need to retype the same information in subsequent forms.
It “Nails the Landing”
Perfect online forms make clear to the user what will happen upon completion, either with a clear headline, or a submission button that says what will happen (“Download my eBook”). Once the form has been completed and submitted, it “nails the landing” by thanking the user and by delivering what was promised when the user elected to complete the form. Online forms can be made to trigger email alerts when someone’s attention is required and can use the data entered in company databases, CRM systems, and other systems to prevent the need for manual data entry.
Perfect online forms, in other words, make the completion process as intuitive and friction-free as possible. Just as Olympic athletes train, practice, and fine-tune to achieve perfection, the right online forms software lets you A/B test easily and fine-tune your forms so that you get maximum user engagement and collect data that allows your organization to serve its customers optimally.
PerfectApps is the clear gold medalist when it comes to online forms. It allows nontechnical users to create pixel-perfect online forms with a user-friendly, drag-and-drop interface. The data collected by the forms created in PerfectApps can interface with third-party applications and databases so that duplication of data entry (or even copying and pasting) is a thing of the past. Because PerfectApps is so easy to use, you won’t shy away from A/B testing web forms to learn which combination of headline, form fields, colors, sizes, and call-to-action buttons engage users most fully.
PerfectApps is flexible and powerful enough to be used across industries, and easy enough to use that you’ll be creating perfect online forms in no time. We invite you to watch our demo so you can see how easy, flexible, and powerful PerfectApps is.