As the Rake Mark Web Design Tips series continues so do the web design blogs that expand on the web design tweets and help to fill in any gaps that 140 characters via the Rake Mark Twitter Feed doesn’t allow.
These five web design tips tweets were aimed at helping website owners and website designers make the most out of their contact forms, so this is a shorter web design blog article but all regarding powering up your contact forms specifically.
Required Fields Can Do More Harm Than Good
Web Design Tip 30: Keep contact and sign-up forms simple with the information you need. The same goes for required fields, try not to insist
Web Design Tip 31: On contact forms, required fields can annoy your website visitors. If you don’t absolutely need their phone number, ask but don’t insist
Required fields are the fields on a form that the website designer says you have to fill in and can be one of the most annoying things about contact forms. If you want a quick answer to a question about rabbit food then do you really need my address? Of course not. So if you would like the address then ask for it but don’t require that field on a contact form.
Your contact forms require a way for you to get in touch with the person asking the question (email usually but a phone number will also serve) and then the enquiry itself. That’s all. End of. A name is nice, but not needed, its not required.
Lots of required fields will increase your ‘abandon rate’ on forms, website visitors just won’t fill them in, they’ll leave your web page or website instead.
Website Form Validation: Handle with Care
Web Design Tip 32: Another contact forms tip, keep validation to a minimum. Not everyone will agree that a postcode has to have your exact format
Web Design Tip 33: Another contact forms tip, keep validation to a minimum. Some people want to put in brackets & spaces when entering their phone number
Web Form validation is using computerised rules to make sure that the information that a web visitor enters makes sense. So your web designer might say that the phone number box can only be filled with numbers or that a postcode box should be filled in a set format.
The issue with this can be that your visitors might not take the same view as you regarding a phone number only being numbers. I always enter my phone number with gaps, so the number for the web design staffordshire offices would be 01785 256 222. This isn’t just numbers (it has space characters in it) and would be rejected. The same would be true if I bracketed the area code.
Website Contact Forms: The Golden Rule is Keep It Simple
It is essential that you keep any web forms on your website as simple a possible. You want your visitors to fill these in to sign up to newsletters, to ask you questions and to engage. Requiring extra information and making them difficult to fill in with unnecessary validation will turn your web visitors off and send them running into the arms of your competitors.
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