Creating a perfect form may seem easy. All you have to do is make a few fields with straightforward questions above them and wait for the user to give you the replies you are looking for. Surprisingly enough, a perfect form has many more nuances than you can’t see at the first glance. A form designer has to consider simplifying the user experience to the extent, where typing in the wrong answer is virtually impossible.
The percentage of mistakenly filled out forms is overwhelming. Most of the mistakes are simple typos while others happen due to lack of explanation. A perfect interactive form offers extensive assistance and exercises validation.
Here is a 8 Best UX/UI Practices to Create an Ideal Contact Form
Filling Out The Form: Comments and Advice
If you want to get replies to use for the following analysis, you need to help the user type in the right answers.
1. What Needs To Be Done?
Before the user starts filling out of a form, he or she should read a short yet helpful set of instructions. Keep them under about 100 words or the user will get bored and skip them. Highlight the instructions on top of the form so the user sees them before going on to the first question.
Include the most important “don’ts” in these instructions.
2. What Am I Looking At?
If the fields of your form are not straightforward for an average user, add a “what’s this” button on top or on the right-hand side of the field. Such buttons provide tips for people, who need help, and don’t aggravate users, who know what the question is about. Try to keep the explanation under 100 words.
3. Why Should I Share This?
Sometimes you have to ask a user to share personal information, such as a license number or maiden name. In rare cases, you may need an SSN. Many people are reluctant to share such private information and may quit filling out the form.
In order to keep them from leaving, make sure to explain the reason you need this data. You can do it by adding a “Why we need this data” button. The text hidden inside the button should also promise to keep all the private information secure.
4. Save Users Some Time
If you want to save users some time and help them avoid mistakes, you should integrate a few simple add-ons to your form. A calendar can help a person fill out the date correctly; meanwhile, a spell checker can help them fix typing mistakes.
5. Pop-up Messages
If you have a complicated form that requires plenty of explanations, you may end up with a pretty large and hard-to-read product. Make your form dynamic by allowing the information windows to pop-up only when the field is activated and disappear when the user leads the cursor away.
6. Limit The Mistakes
You can limit a user’s mistakes by designing a form in such a way that they don’t have an opportunity to make them. For example, when asking for a full name, make sure to create separate fields for first and last names. This way the data will be placed in the right order and a person won’t be able to “forget” any information. Such approach helps the user pay attention to virtually every word he or she types.
Checking Before Submitting: Validation
Even if you tried your best creating informational fields and buttons, a user can still find a way to make a few mistakes. Validation can help check the form and find them.
1. Real-Time Form Checking
Before the user submits a form, a validation program should check for the obvious mistakes. One of the things that are often overlooked is the right formatting. The missing @ in the email address or a missing digit in the zip code can lead to a disaster when you need to contact the user. Meanwhile, empty fields should raise a red flag.
2. Using Validation Programs
Besides the regular format, spelling, and empty field checking, you can take advantage of validator programs that will help you validate email addresses. Such programs can be integrated into a form in order to check if the user is giving the correct contact information. The validators check this data against large databases, making sure the contact details really exist.
After the form is validated, it’s up to you to make a finishing touch. Ask the user to check the form once again. Remind him or her of the overwhelming importance of the correct information. These few simple words at the bottom of a form may make a difference between an ideal product and a useless piece of information.
Jane Shel is a co-founder and content strategist at MiroMind SEO & Digital agency. Self-starter and blog-reader, she likes to share her know-how in digital marketing world.