The 8 Commandments for Effective Web Forms

You can’t get information from users without using some kind of form. If it isn’t properly designed, users may stay away from it. Here are some tips to make effective web forms.

1. Straight to the Point

Users are impatient and want to fill those fields up quickly. Include only the necessary ones. Keep the design simple so users don’t get confused. If the form is well made, there should be no problems.

2. Fit for the Situation

What are you asking from the user? What are the requirements? The design should incorporate the elements needed to get the required data. List the questions and ask yourself are they necessary? Are the questions something a person will want or need to fill?

3. Use Only the Required Elements

In other words, keep it simple. If you can do without it, don’t use it. The elements may vary depending on the questions, but some elements are constant. Don’t put any unnecessary buttons and fields. They will turn off a user.

4. Descriptions have to be clear

You don’t want to over explain and fill the page with a lot of text. If an explanation is required, make sure it is concise and clear. Internet users are wary of sharing private and personal information. Make it clear to them why it is needed and that the data is safe. Clear cut descriptions also prevent confusion and misunderstandings. Use different fonts and colours to distinguish the information, but do not go overboard.

5. Be Friendly

You are asking information from a user so be friendly. One of the most important tips to make effective web forms is communicating well with users. A rigid, demanding format is going to turn people away. A casual, friendly approach will put users at ease.

6. Large Forms should be separated

Users will lose their patience if they have to fill up field after field. If you need a lot of data, divide it into sections. If you are going to ask for a lot of data, don’t do it in one go. Make the fields more intelligible by using headers. Group related fields together. Use images, coloured bars and other elements to make it more visually appealing. Place them into pages only if necessary.

7. Build Error Messages in the Form

Nobody wants to see errors pop up. But when they do, there should be an intelligible message. The error message should tell the user what the error is. The problematic field has to be pointed out. Even better, that section should be highlighted. Users don’t have to scroll and look for the problem. Test the error messages before posting anything. Make sure that they are working properly.

8. Let the User Go

After a user clicks the Submit button, there should be a message like “Thank you. You will hear from us soon” or something like that. There should also be a link taking the user back to the main page. Do not leave a blank page there because users will be confused.

These tips to make effective web forms will be enough to get you started. There are other aspects that should be addressed such as grammar, checking for code errors and testing browser compatibility. Taking these steps will ensure your forms are friendly and will get the job done.

Jerry is a free lancer writer and content builder of and has written many useful genuine articles.

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