Website forms are an essential element of websites of all kinds. Each form has a unique purpose, which emphasises the form’s design and layout. Each piece of a website form needs to be geared toward providing an excellent user experience.
How do you decide which form to use? What will go with the company’s brand identity? What elements will best serve the user?
These and other questions are crucial when it comes to designing a web form. With all the variety of forms available, it can be challenging to know which is best to use. So, to help out web designers, we’ve put together a list of the best form types you use for website projects.
The Contact Form
This is one of the most important forms on a website, yet many companies and designers miss this form. The contact form is the one site users, and customers use the most when they need additional information. This form makes it easy and fast to contact the company.
Contact forms should be easy to find and use, no matter the type of website. This form is placed near the bottom of a web page in many cases. The name may vary with some called “Customer Support” or “Contact Us.” Simplicity is the key to the form’s title; keeping it simple means, most site visitors quickly identify its purpose. They don’t have to guess the purpose of the form.
Next, the contact form needs to let customers and site visitors know they’re making the right choice to contact the business. Here, again, keeping the message simple and short makes it quick for site users to know what to do next. Text may also include why the user may want to contact the company and how to do it.
When designing a contact form, keep it short and simple. Don’t include unnecessary information from the user. Only ask for information you need to answer their question. Asking for more information than necessary can make a site user feel their privacy is being violated, and they’ll leave without making contact.
How to Design a Contact Form
The contact form should be designed to be personalised and yet straightforward. You might use features such as smart content and conditional logic to adapt the form to the user’s needs.
Next, set the right expectations by letting customers know how active your business is and when they can expect to hear back from you. Imagery and fonts can carry these messages to site users.
Be sure to offer multiple options in case a site user doesn’t want to use the contact form. Provide them with another way to get in touch. The contact page can include the company’s social media and phone number.
Finally, make it easy for site users to choose a topic for their query. Use the topics that make sense for your business. For instance, for an ecommerce site, you might include topics such as “Order issues,” “Where’s my order,” “Order status,” and so on. This way, messages go directly to the right person or department for a faster response.
The Opt-In Form
The opt-in form is another form site users expect on a website. The opt-in form allows a visitor to choose a specific offer, sign up for a newsletter, and more. Opt-in forms grab the attention quickly, so they’re made to be seen. The form asks for some specific information from users. It might be to “Subscribe” or “Sign up” for a newsletter, for instance.
These forms may be placed on the bottom of a landing page, while other times the opt-in form may be found in the sidebar of the site. Opt-in forms may sometimes appear as a pop-up.
How to Design an Opt-In Form
Start off by keeping the opt-in form simple and easy to understand. The goal is to avoid overwhelming site visitors by asking for too much information. Users want to fill out the form quickly and then move on, so keep the form simple and short.
Next, highlight the benefits of following through with the specific action. Even if you’re asking for an email address, let the user know what benefit they’ll receive.
Finally, give the site user control. Let them see what they’re getting and the information you need in return. Be sure to also reassure users their email addresses will not be used for spam.
Some businesses choose to combine the contact and support forms together. However, they can be separated. One of the reasons to consider separating these forms is to get requests for support to the right department immediately. The support form can be placed on a “Help” webpage, where customers would expect to find information on how to contact support.
The “Help” page may also include other links in the footer. These could include links to the “About” and “Contact” pages of the site. The goal is to provide customers with a way to help themselves and find the answers they need. For instance, FAQs or a Help page may include a search bar for queries. Users can then search the site for an answer or find blog posts and more.
How to Design a Customer Support Form
Customer support forms are all about helping site users find the information they need quickly. It’s essential to only ask for information that you need to help them. Avoid asking for information that’s not necessary.
The query could be designed as a dropdown menu that contains topics for users to choose. In addition, allow site users to know when they can expect a response and offer guidance on what to do next.
Finally, keep things simple. Don’t use jargon on support request forms. Then be direct on the information that’s needed for the user’s request.
Online Payment Form
Online forms provide a way for customers to safely and easily enter their payment details to purchase a product or service you offer. Most payment processing companies (such as PayPal and others) include payment forms, which can easily be embedded in your website. However, you may want to customise these payment forms for your site.
In some cases, you may want a payment form that keeps the customer on the same page. That way, they don’t have to log into another browser to finish their purchase. The fewer transitions a customer needs to make, the better. The buying process is faster, and the customer won’t worry they’re inputting their payment details on the wrong site.
How to Design Payment Forms
Here, again, you want to keep things simple yet secure. Customers should be able to quickly enter their payment details quickly and easily, getting through the transaction process without fearing their details have been stolen.
Keep the form simple by using fewer fields for the customer to fill out. In addition, use the right payment integrations that match your customers’ payment preferences. The more ways a customer can choose to pay, the better.
Finally, ensure the customer’s data is secure. This can be done by offering proof of security. For instance, include an SSL certificate that puts a padlock on the top of the browser, next to the URL bar. There are many ways to do this. However, be sure to include the security measures that are in line with customer expectations.
Summing It Up
In the end, keeping a form simple and easy to use is key to a customer following through with an action. Ask only for the information needed, not more, and make the process as frictionless as possible. Be sure to keep messages clear and easy to understand, even in error messages. Finally, keep the customer’s data secure and show them you know how to keep their data safe.
Following these basics means your web forms will be effective and helpful to site users and customers.