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How To Streamline Your Web Forms

Since the dawn of mankind, we’ve all hated filling out long forms.

Whether we’re at the doctors, buying a house or even just signing up for a library card, the thought of tackling lengthy paperwork can sap our will to live- especially when it’s unnecessarily complicated. With the advent of the internet and eCommerce, it’s fair to say that absolutely nothing has changed.

You might be taking payment details to complete a purchase or asking customers to create an account; either way, modern users just don’t have the patience to fill out forms that are too long. Ultimately, this will make them give up on your site and try elsewhere, allowing one of your competitors to benefit from your oversight and leaving you scratching your head in confusion.

So, how exactly can you shorten your forms and still get the information you need?

Get Rid of Optional Questions

Let’s start with a simple one, shall we?

If you’re giving the users the option to fill out a certain section of the form, then 99.9% of them won’t do it.

So, by including these pointless optional questions, you’re merely lengthening your forms for the sake of it, and ultimately annoying the majority of your users. Instead, you need to focus on the information you actually need from customers, and only include those sections in the form.

Obviously, getting rid of unnecessary sections will make your form significantly shorter, so this is one of the first things you should do if you’re trying to streamline the experience.

Smart Forms Make Everything Easier

20 years ago, the very notion of auto-filling a form would have sounded downright absurd. Fortunately, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, this is a fairly standard feature for every major eCommerce business.

In fact, businesses can now go one step further and develop smart forms as well. These will track the behaviour of a user and generate personalised questions, only asking them things which are relevant and eliminating any unnecessary parts of the form.

From a user perspective, this is absolutely fantastic; while such a personalised experience is bound to end in positive results for the business, too.

Break It Up

Okay, let’s be realistic here. Sometimes, it just isn’t possible to shorten the form.

Your industry might require a significant amount of user details and, after re-reading your web form, there’s absolutely nothing you can get rid of. In this case, we recommend breaking the form up into different pages and sections, integrating a progress bar to show users exactly how far they’ve got to go.

Presenting users with easier, more digestible chunks is much better than a daunting, overly-long page which takes ages to navigate through. Besides, users will feel like they’re actually getting somewhere if they keep advancing through to new pages.

Every eCommerce business needs to place a focus on designing shorter, simpler web forms. Of course, this is just one of the many reasons you need to find the best web design Manchester has to offer, since VisionSharp are the experts in creating websites that sell. Pop in for a brew or give us a ring to find out more!

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