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Online Forms 101: Design Basics
Design is absolutely, without a doubt, imperative to the overall success of your online forms or surveys – even more so than the quality of what you are asking!
Bad or awkward design means that your customers will not even get to your questions because it is the first impression that counts.
Online form design is pretty universal and never truly evolves. Those intrepid marketers who brainstorm over how to improve their basic forms are missing the boat. Forms aren't about the design flare but the questions.
1. Eliminate Distractions
This is where you learn from modals: these pop-up windows automatically dim the background and drive focus to the form. This also includes flashy HTML, snazzy graphics or promotions for your services. Keep the emphasis entirely on your forms.
2. Ditch Creativity
No creativity? Say, what? Really, what this means is that you don't need to overwrite your questions and try to be innovative. Regardless of the type of form, questions are standard across the board. You don't need to recreate the wheel.
So, what's important in design then?
1. Design Simply
From the clean background to the functionality of your form, simplicity is the key. Even more importantly, don't over complicate your form with check boxes, sliding scales or keyed entries. The more work you have to make your customers do, you're risking the chance of them leaving outright.
2. Include Critical Information
The best design strategy is no strategy at all. The only graphics needed is your company logo, tagline and basic contact information (email address, phone number and possibly your physical address).
3. List Benefits
Why do your customers need to fill out your survey or online form in the first place? What are they getting out of it? For example, email subscriptions include what they're getting and what fantastic information they're receiving.
As important as the question is, at the end of the day it is all about how the form looks and engages the reader. Without a good design, the changes of your form even getting looked at is low. Simple design and excellent questions are the winning formula you want.