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Best practises for online forms
It’s not just what you do, it’s how well you do it. And you understand this if you’ve ever tried to bake and it didn’t turn out the way the recipe described. The same is true for many aspects of business. So it’s not enough to just replace old paper methods with digital forms. There are best practises for online forms which will maximize their efficiency and effectiveness. Read on for these 6 tips!
1. KISS Rule
As you may know, the KISS Rule is to Keep It Simple, Stupid. Meaning, to not add in extra fields and explanations which are not strictly necessary. Also, this means not making a 5 page form to capture a range of functions. It may be better to have 5 one-page forms instead.
Use dividers and spacers to break up information into sections. For example, have a “Personal Information” section before moving on to “Preferences”. This breaks up the form into stages and prevents the user from feeling overwhelmed.
3. Clear Instructions
Next, check that each field has the right label. And be specific. For example, don’t label a field “Phone” when what you really want is “Daytime Phone” or “Cell Phone”. Also, use clear instructions for any section which isn’t obvious. After all, a text field labelled “Details” may not give you the information you really want from that section. So describe what you are looking for, or give examples.
4. Mobile Friendly
One of the best practises for online forms is to optimize it for use on mobile phones. After all, with over 310 million cell phones in use in the United States, it’s likely that the person completing your form will want to do so on their phone. So when choosing a digital form software, be sure that it can be used and completed on any device.
What happens when a form is successfully completed? Don’t leave your customers, employees, or suppliers hanging after they click submit. Add a confirmation message to acknowledge that the form is being received. Also, set up expectations for what happens next. This could be letting them know where the information is going, and when they will hear from you. Alternatively, redirect your users to a page on your website which is customized with the message appropriate for the form.
Finally, test your form before sending out the link, embedding on a website, or into an email. Review for spelling errors, and check that all integrations are working as designed. After all, if information is not mapping to the right fields in your other software, your business is missing out the data management capabilities of online forms. So validate the full flow of your form and how it integrates with your other systems and software.
To understand more about connecting online forms with other software, read these integration ideas.
To summarize, these 6 tips are best practises for online forms. When planning the transition to digital forms in sales, human resources, customer experience, and accounting, follow these principals. This will ensure that your online forms are user friendly, organized, and effective at streamlining your business.