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How to simplify your contact forms

July 12th | How To's

Over complicated contact forms make things harder for everyone

In my time I have coded many, many different types of forms, some very complex and some very simple. All of the forms I code have at least 1 aspect in common, they are all as simple as possible for the user. And that's what you want. When a customer is looking for information, you want to make it as easy as possible for them. These 5 tips are some examples of programming standards for contact forms.

1. Simplify text fields

People don't like to think too much. Using radio buttons, check boxes and multiple choice selections give the user a quick way to scan and choose the selection that best suites them. This reduces the amount of time they spend filling out the form and getting the information they are looking for.

2. Subject/request type fields

Clearly define the reasons for contacting you. Subject fields are usually more helpful for the manager of the website in order to properly route the request. The best solution is to provide a few clear options to choose from with the options for "general" or "other". Using javascript or jQuery, you can even have a text box appear when "other" is selected for more specific information.

3. CAPTCHA

CAPTCHA is a great way to cut down on spam submissions, but can be difficult for users. Using a CAPTCHA system that is easy to read and offers the option to speak the letters/numbers will make it easier for your users. You can also avoid using a CAPTCHA at all by implementing a few other anti-spam techniques, but that's for another article.

4. Provide feedback after the form has been submitted

Have you ever filled out a form and been taken to a blank page or returned to the form with no information about your form submission? I've seen it too many time where I try to submit a form on a website and am not given any feedback. After submitting a form providing a thank you message and letting the user know that you will contact them with the information they are looking for lets them know that their request has been submitted.

5. Limit the number of fields you use

Too many fields can scare users. Many people do not want to give out private information such as phone number and addresses. Unless this information is absolutely required, either leave it out of the form or make sure it is easily made optional. Only ask for the information that is absolutely necessary.

If your forms do not follow these basic guidelines, you could be losing potential customers. We can help fix your forms. Contact us today and we can help you fix your forms and get more business.

Tags: Contact Forms, Contact Form Validation, Contact Form Coding, Contact Form Programming, Contact Form Development

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