Forming a form part two – Wanting too much

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In part one of our ‘forming a form’ series we talked about the hazards of asking for too much information and potentially putting users off. Part two is about the steps (or hoops) you may make a user go through before your user can complete the end goal of submitting the form.

For the purpose of this example, we will be referring to e-commerce websites but the same theory can be applied to the majority of online forms.

Too many stages

A known reason for abandoned carts on an e-commerce website can be attributed to (among other things), a long checkout process. Having the users go from one page to another to another just to complete a purchase. The checkout process should flow as smoothly and quickly as possible to hold the users interest (particularly if it is a spur of the moment purchase).

For every step your user is having to click through, you are presenting them with an opportunity to give up and abandon the purchase.

If you really do need several stages to a form then there are steps you can take to make the user more likely to stay the distance. As per the graphic below, display information at each stage to ensure the user knows how much has been completed and how much they still have to go.

form stages

In the case of e-commerce, it is generally possible to offer your users a one page checkout. This asks for all their details in one page and eliminates pages and pages of requested data. In turn, reducing the temptation to abandon the cart (and sale).

Too Much Information

Form abandonment can also be attributed to asking for too much information. Trimming down your forms to gather as little information as possible will help you eliminate excessive form stages. It will also give users confidence that you aren’t just gathering the data for future marketing (‘what’s your favourite colour?’ etc)

For example, in a newsletter signup where the aim is to ONLY send out a generic newsletter, what do you really need for your desired end result?

  • Their email? Check.
  • Their Name? Maybe.
  • Their date of birth? Maybe if you send out birthday greetings…?
  • Their contact numbers? Nope….
  • and so it goes on.

At PoLR we send out one generic newsletter, no personalisation and definitely no birthday letters! Our aim is to JUST get you to sign up for information that may help you (see the top left of this page). The sample below makes me wonder why, just to get en e-mail newsletter, do they need all the other information. Incidentally, only the email is actually required but this is not stated anywhere in the form.

So, which e-mail newsletter form would you rather sign up to..?

Newsletter signup

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